The indefinite suspension of baseball has left a lot of things in question. MLB and MLBPA are meeting to discuss player salaries during these coming weeks, minor leaguers are unlikely to see their first pay on April 15, and there is another less-discussed group being impacted. The employees of both Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, as well as Comerica Park in Detroit.
These hourly-paid employees depend on games for their livelihood, and with no games being played, there is no job to show up for.
On Friday afternoon, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., the Chris Ilitch-owned company that owns the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, 313 Presents, Fox Theatre, and Little Caesars Arena announced their intention to set aside a $1 million fund to help cover the lost wages of their part-time event staff.
We are committed to supporting our colleagues in this time of uncertainty. In light of the coronavirus and in conjunction with our partners, we are setting up a $1 million fund to cover the wages of our part-time event staff impacted by postponed events. https://t.co/G37FR5teK7— Ilitch Companies (@IlitchCompanies) March 13, 2020
The fund will cover Tigers and Red Wings staff, as well as those who worked at concert events. Even the staff at Joker Marchant will be covered for the lost wages from the remaining six games of their spring training schedule.
This generous move helps ensure that those who were counting on game-day wages won’t be left without this season, as their pay will be covered for one month. No word yet on what will happen if the suspension of the season goes longer.
Ilitch Holdings is one of the first groups to announce this action, while in the NBA Kevin Love promised $100,000 of his own money to help hourly Cavaliers employees, and billionaire Mark Cuban is working on a plan to support out of work Mavericks employees.
We will likely see more teams come together in this time of uncertainty to ensure that their employees have at least some additional peace of mind.