It’s not as exciting as the announcement of the regular season schedule, and it’s not as interesting to discuss and debate as ESPN’s “Future Ranking” of the franchise, but in case you missed it, I thought I’d pass along the news that the Raptors’ pre-season schedule was released on Thursday.

The Raptors will open their exhibition season by hosting Spanish team Real Madrid at the Air Canada Centre on Monday, October 8. As we’ve mentioned before, there will also be a Montreal matchup against the Knicks at the Bell Centre on Friday, October 19. Simply because they stray from the norm, those are the only two games that actually caught my eye.

Also included is a home-and-home with the Pistons, a trip to Memphis, and matchups against the Wizards and Bucks.

If you’re looking for the entire seven-game schedule, you can find it here.

Aside from season-seat holders, how many Raptors fans reading this are actually sitting there thinking “I’ve got to get to some pre-season games this year?” I’d make a joke about the over/under being set at 0.5 (I guess I just did), except that you’d be surprised how many people actually show up to some meaningless games in early October.

Then again, plenty of people showed up for some meaningless games in April last season, so I guess this isn’t really much different.

If nothing else, at least the pre-season schedule release is another sign that slowly but surely, the 2012-2013 season, which will be refreshingly meaningful for Raptors fans, is creeping closer.

45 days until training camp opens…