OVO Raptors training centre

Drake just renamed the Toronto Raptors' training centre

Remember back in August when Drake posted a picture of himself standing in front of a Toronto Raptors logo on Instagram with the caption "future owner"?

He may not have been hinting at his intentions of buying the NBA team after all (not yet, anyway).

The celebrated recording artist, actor, fashion mogul, business man and Toronto icon was more likely finalizing a deal to take over the Raptors' practice facility at Exhibition Place — a facility that will henceforth be known the OVO Athletic Centre.

Built just three years ago on the western grounds of Exhibition Place, the state-of-the-art basketball facility was called the BioSteel Centre for most of its existence (though it has been nameless this NBA season so far).

Yesterday, without any fanfare or formal announcement, the centre replaced its branding.

What was once red lettering is now a deep gold, and screams of Drake's OVO brand. An illuminated OVO owl stands proudly next to a Raptors ball logo atop the centre which has the words "OVO Athletic Centre" posted above at least one door.

TSN basketball reporter Josh Lewenberg confirmed the news late Wednesday evening, noting that Drake already had his own stall in the Raptors locker room at Scotiabank Arena.

Drake, who's been serving as the team's Global Ambassador for nearly six years, "now has a key to their practice facility and his logo on the front of the building," wrote Lewenberg. "Literally. No joke."

The centre is still operated by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, but Drake's purchase of the naming rights means he'll have a dedicated space to shoot hoops downtown when the Raps aren't around and he's in the mood.

At 68,000 square feet, the facility boasts two full-sized basketball courts, a medical centre, a full service kitchen and dining room plus a lounge for players.

Fingers crossed that Drizzy will share some pics of the space's interior now that his latest acquisition has been made public.

"Drake and OVO are an important part of our city's landscape, our team's identity, and our plans to bring a championship to Toronto," said Raptors President Masai Ujiri on Thursday morning of the OVO branding,

"This new naming rights deal for our training facility is a perfect example of the strength of this partnership and the innovative opportunities it can generate."

Lead photo by

MLSE


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