MLB will commit $30 million dollars — $1 million per team — to paying stadium/team workers affected by the lack of games.
With sports shut down around the world due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, many organizations are trying to figure out how to support the workers who rely on gameday for their income. Zion Williamson made headlines when he announced early on that he would pay the salary of all the arena workers at Smoothie King Center while the NBA enforces their hiatus. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Blake Griffin, and others have made similar pledges.
On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced that they will be committing $30 million dollars– $1 million dollars per team– to paying stadium workers who are affected by the delay of Opening Day. While the start of the season was initially delayed for two weeks, subsequent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have pushed back the start of the 2020 season even further.
“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 Major League Baseball season, Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “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.”
Major League Baseball still has not said anything about minor league players and stadium workers, but that is also something they will have to tackle. This week, Pete Bayer, a minor league pitcher for the Oakland A’s, made headlines when he spoke to the press about working as a delivery driver for DoorDash to makeup his lost income.
“I have to do something in order to make money,” Bayer said. “It’s a risk I have to take.”
The agreement to pay stadium workers is a major step forward for MLB. But with the future uncertain, their work is far from over.