Teams across the NHL have stepped up amid the indefinite suspension of the regular season schedule, pledging money for arena workers and game day staff to replace lost wages for postponed and potentially canceled games.
The Vegas Golden Knights made a sizeable commitment on Thursday, announcing a $500,000 minimum of support for part-time game day employees and hourly on-call staff.
"Knights are the Epitome of the Warrior Class. Our foundational principles are centered on helping people in need and defending those who cannot defend themselves," said owner Bill Foley. "Make no mistake, these are uncertain and challenging times, especially here in the great city of Las Vegas. But we are all in this together and we will all persevere together. We hope these contributions can have a positive impact on many of the staff and their families who are affected. We want to do our part."
The employees included are third-party vendors, service providers, food and beverage employees, retail associates, medical staff, event personnel, production and cleaning operations. As well, the game day staff such as in-arena hosts, DJ, music director, camera operators, control room crew, Zamboni driver, and various mascots and cheering crew will be assisted.
Along with the news from team ownership, star goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made a pledge of $100,000 to the cause.
"A big part of what makes the Vegas Golden Knights game day experience so memorable is the staff working behind the scenes," said Fleury in a press release about the two announcements. "As players we truly appreciate all the employees who work so hard in making The Fortress the best place to play in the NHL. They are just as much a part of the Las Vegas community as we are. My family and I hope that these contributions not only help those in need, but also inspire others who are in fortunate positions to step up and find ways to help too. We can't wait to see the employees and our fans again soon."
Majority of teams have stepped up
The trend of teams stepping up to support arena staff and on-call employees has been present throughout the league. 30 of the 31 teams in the league have made some pledge to replace lost wages.
Only the Boston Bruins remain as the outlier of the group. Employees at the TD Garden arena have reportedly grown impatient waiting for the team to provide some sort of update regarding the situation.
“This experience has been hell for me personally,” said a server at the Legends restaurant at the Garden to Marisa Ingemi of the Boston Herald.. “My biggest fear is always being homeless again.”
Pressure from this story and every other team in the league opening their wallets to their staff may go a long way to convincing the Bruins to make the whole league as generous as they could be.
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