One day before Game 5 of the NBA Finals, a lineup of Toronto Raptors fans has begun for a spot in Jurassic Park outside Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Early Sunday, there were a total of nine fans and they were having fun. Jurassic Park, of which there are mini versions all over the Greater Toronto Area, is an outdoor public square where fans gather to cheer while watching the game on a big screen. There is enough room in the public viewing area, located at the entrance for Scotiabank Arena, for about 5,000 people.
Doug Tiessen, 55, of Stoney Creek, Ont., came with his son, Zac, 22, on Saturday afternoon and spent Saturday night in the line.
“We took turns sleeping and watched out for each other. We got through the night. It was good,” Tiessen said on Sunday.
The actual line is in a fenced-off area around the corner from Jurassic Park, off Bremner Boulevard and near the Gardiner Expressway. On Sunday, it was buzzing with traffic noise, but the fans here were becoming fast friends.
“It isn’t a perfect world that we live in, in the sense that there are people who came by and were kind of scoping out what stuff was here,” Tiessen said.
But Tiessen, currently on long-term disability, said he and his son joined Tyler Seaton, 31, and Angie Taylor, 33, of Cambridge, Ont., who were already in line. And the “Fab Four,” as they are calling themselves, sat around a miniature portable grill for part of the night and talked.
Jurassic Park is ‘just wild’
All four said they are looking forward to the big game on Monday night. The Raptors play the Golden State Warriors after beating them 105-92 on Friday. The team now has a three-games-to-one-lead in the best-of-seven series. If the Raptors win, the victory would be historic for the team and the city.
“It’s going to be a fun time just to go in and celebrate Game 5. We really believe they’re going to win it. To be the first in line to go in for that experience is something. It’s an experience that we are looking forward to doing,” Tiessen said.
Zac Tiessen agreed. “Oh man. Just always seeing Jurassic Park, I’ve always dreamed of being in there. This is actually our first time. We have some veterans in the line so it’s kind of nice knowing what it’s going to be like. It’s an experience unlike any other. Jurassic Park is kind of the ultimate fan experience, they say. It’s just wild,” he said.
“That’s what I’m looking forward to most, just seeing the country united over sport. It’s just an historic moment for basketball in Canada and just sports really in Canada. It’s going to be really neat to see that moment when they win.”
The father and son brought two backpacks of food. They were dropped off by Tiessen’s wife and other son. They plan to take the GO train home.
Doug Tiessen said he and his son thought there were going to be about 200 people there and were surprised that there were only a few. But it has been enjoyable, he said.
“It’s been a fun time,” he said. “It’s an experience, being together with other people.”