As the sports world temporarily shuts down to help combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, attention has shifted to the many arena employees that are suddenly unable to earn an income.
With no timetable on when play will resume across the professional sports leagues, there have been a few teams and notable figures to step up and ensure employees continue getting paid during the hiatus.
The Los Angeles Lakers, L.A. Clippers and L.A. Kings teamed up to compensate Staples Center employees for the missed NBA and NHL games over the length of the stoppage. Players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Love and Zion Williamson are also helping the cause by donating money out of their own pockets to aid the affected workers.
The kind gestures have made their way over to Major League Baseball as well. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer and Houston Astros outfielder George Springer are among the players that have either donated or raised money to help ballpark employees stay afloat financially during these difficult times.
Los Angeles Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten acknowledged the dilemma and is exploring all avenues to assist Dodger Stadium employees, via Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
“We’re mindful of the problem,” Dodgers president Stan Kasten said. “We’re looking at ways to help people get through these times. But we don’t have a plan just yet.”
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, MLB suspended all remaining Spring Training games and delayed the start of the regular season — originally pegged for March 26. The initial delay was two weeks, but MLB has since pushed it back to adhere with recommendations made by the Centers for Disease and Prevention.
They suggested gatherings of at least 50 people be suspended for eight weeks; meaning Spring Training or regular-season games aren’t likely to be played until at least the middle of May.
Players were advised to return home, although many Major Leaguers have opted to stay at their Spring Training facility for the time being. Most Minor League players, on the other hand, were sent home by the Dodgers in response to MLB’s memo about the coronavirus pandemic.
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