The Ottawa SkyHawks played their inaugural game at the Canadian Tire Centre Saturday night as basketball officially hits the capital.

The SkyHawks, who practised on their new home court Saturday, play in the National Basketball League, which also features Ontario teams from Windsor, London and Oshawa, plus teams from Montreal, Moncton, N.B., Saint John, N.B., Halifax and Summerside, P.E.I.

Ottawa SkyHawks basketball court (Nov. 2, 2013)

The Ottawa SkyHawks will play 20 games on their home court at the Canadian Tire Centre during their inaugural season. (Kamil Karamali/CBC)

The SkyHawks is the first professional basketball team based in Canada’s capital.

The home opener saw the team fall 113-105 against the Windsor Express, the first of 20 home games this season for Ottawa.

3rd level curtained off

Staff said they curtained off the third level of seats, which is normal for basketball events in the arena, leaving 8,200 available seats.

Bytown Sports and Entertainment Inc., owns the SkyHawks, which were originally named the “Tomahawks” in late February.

But public backlash, including a denouncement from Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, led to management canning the name one day later.

They announced the “SkyHawks” name in April.

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