ALSO ON SLAM!
September 1993: NBA grants Toronto franchise to group led by John Bitove Jr. and Allan Slaight, bypassing Maple Leafs ally Larry Tanenbaum. Team locates at the SkyDome, awaiting plans for new home at Bay and Dundas.
October 1994: Raptors give up on Bay-Dundas site.
December 1994: Raptors investigate postal building at Bay and Lake Shore.
1995: Leafs begin their arena search, checking six sites including CNE, Varsity Stadium, lands west of SkyDome, Downsview, Yonge and 401, and the downtown railway lands (historical roundhouse site).
1996: Raptors agree to build a $207-million arena, Air Canada Centre. Leafs dismiss offer of joint tenancy, claiming "the footprint is too small."
September 1996: Leafs are one of 26 groups to respond to proposal call from Exhibition Place/Ontario Place.
October 1996: Leafs decline to move forward in Ex process.
March 1997: Ground-breaking ceremony at Air Canada Centre.
April 1997: Leafs announce massive plan to build new arena atop Union Station. Leafs in- vite Raptors to join them and turn Air Canada Centre into a bus depot, but Slaight refuses.
June 1997: City council rejects Union
Station arena proposal after two sides can't agree on annual rent costs.
July 1997: Leafs abandon any hopes of Union Station project. Rumours begin immediately that Leafs want back in at the Ex.
September 1997: Sportcom 2000, a group that had been granted the right to put an IHL-size rink and related project at the Ex, is turfed to make room for the Leafs.
November 1997: Leafs announce $250-million deal to build a rink and related developments at the Ex.
February 1998: Leafs purchase Raptors and Air Canada Centre, with both teams to play there in February 1999.