US sporting institutions to support stadium staff with Coronavirus relief funds

In response to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, several US sporting institutions have pledged to support part-time stadium employees financially, as the crisis has caused economic uncertainty for many individuals working in the sporting industry.

On Tuesday 17 March 2020, Minnesota-based basketball teams the Timberwolves and the Lynx, led by owner Glenn Taylor, have promised to donate $1 million (£766,398.21) to a relief fund for part-time game day employees working at the Target Centre. The fund will provide financial assistance to those who have been directly impacted by the cancellations of games.

Taylor said: “Our staff who work so hard to make the Target Center experience memorable for fans are the backbone of what we do.

“From the people who show fans to their seats, to the greeters at the entrance, I want to do my part to alleviate the financial concern that comes from missing games due to this national pandemic. We will get through this difficult time together and look forward to the day when our players, fans and staff are reunited again at target centre.”

Additionally, all 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams have pledged to donate $1 million each to help stabilise the financial uncertainty faced by seasonal ballpark employees. Details regarding the fund will be finalised in the coming days and will be communicated directly to the gameday employees.

Rob Manfred, commissioner at MLB said: “Over the past 48 hours, I have been approached by representatives of all 30 clubs to help assist the thousands of ballpark employees affected by the delay in the start of the MLB season.

“Motivated by a desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community, each club has committed $1 million. The individual clubs will be announcing more details surrounding this support effort in their local communities.

“The timing of these announcements will vary because of the need to coordinate with state and local laws, as well as collective bargaining obligations in an effort to maximise the benefits realised by each group of employees.

“I am proud that our clubs came together so quickly and uniformly to support these individuals who provide so much to the game we love.”

Ken Kendrick, managing general partner at the Arizona Diamondbacks, said: “Our gameday employees are part of our family and we want to make sure that we take care of them and support them during these challenging economic times.

“When times are tough, that is when organisations like ours need to step up and I’m proud of all 30 teams who are motivated by a desire to help others in our baseball community.”

Derrick Hall, president and chief executive officer at the Arizona Diamondbacks, added: “There are personal relationships that exist between our gameday staff and all of us who work at the [Diamondbacks] and it is important that they know we are here for them.

“When baseball returns, so will these faces that our fans have come to know and love, as these are the people who are responsible for the incredible fan experience at Chase Field.”

Larry Baer, president and chief executive officer for the New York Giants, said: “Our event staff are the heart and soul of Oracle Park. During these challenging times, we want to provide peace of mind and support to our event staff employees so they can focus on their family and loved ones.”