With it looking all but certain that the MLB season won’t open until Memorial Day at the earliest, MLB teams have pledged $30 million–$1 million per team–for ballpark employees who will miss work because of the shutdown forced by the coronavirus.
There’s been a slew of teams and players already pledging funds to help out game-day employees missing work shifts until the season starts. Here’s the announcement from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred:
The @MLB teams are donating a total of $30 million — $1 million each — to assist the ballpark employees affected by the delayed start to the 2020 season. https://t.co/PjlBCfTIxe pic.twitter.com/0AlOXOzH9M
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) March 17, 2020
Some teams say they’ll go above and beyond the $1 million baseline. “Our event staff is the heart and soul of Oracle Park,” said Giants President & CEO Larry Baer. “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.”
Similarly, the Arizona Diamondbacks say their contribution will be “at least” $1 million: “There are personal relationships that exist between our gameday staff and all of us who work at the D-backs and it is important that they know we are here for them,” said President & CEO Derrick Hall. “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.”
This comes a day after Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced a joint donation of $1 million to help fight hunger as a result of school closures and quarantines stemming from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The donation will be split evenly among Feeding America (FeedingAmerica.org) and Meals on Wheels America (MealsonWheelsAmerica.org).
Feeding America will distribute funds to local member food banks in high need areas across the United States to help feed children and families impacted by current, and potentially extended, school closures and other disruptions as a result of the epidemic. Meals on Wheels America will use the emergency funds to boost the organizational capacity of the network to provide in-home meals to vulnerable senior citizens during this time of crisis.
With hourly news about the spread of the coronavirus impacting the sports-business and facilities industries, it’s more important than ever to stay up with the latest news in the venues industry. That’s why we’re launching a new Venues Digest newsletter focusing on coronavirus information across the ballparks, arenas, stadiums, theater and performing-arts worlds. For now it will appear daily, and for now it will be free of charge. Sign up here.
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