Skip to main content

Tracking Which NBA Teams, Players Are Helping to Pay Arena Workers

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Shortly after the NBA suspended play on Wednesday, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he would set up a payment plan for his stadium's hourly workers, an initiative that has been co-opted throughout the sports world. 

The NBA was the first major American sports league to suspend their season, doing so on Wednesday evening after Jazz center Rudy Gobert reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. On Thursday, Gobert's Jazz teammate, Donovan Mitchell also reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

In the sports world, numerous leagues have postponed their season or suspended operations.

Here's a look at how different NBA players and teams are helping to compensate their arena employees:

  • Hawks: Hawks owner Tony Ressler announced Thursday that he would implement a plan to make sure employees of State Farm Arena were paid. "We are indeed and feel strongly it's both the right thing to and good business," Ressler said via email. 
  • Nets: Nets owner Joe Tsai retweeted a message by guard Spencer Dinwiddie, which called on the team to "take care of the non-salary arena staff." "Hear hear we’re working on a plan!" Tsai said.
  • Cavaliers: Cavaliers forward Kevin Love pledged a donation of $100,000 on Thursday to help team support staff and employees at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The Cavs said they are working on a plan to compensate "event staff and hourly workforce."
  • Mavericks: Mark Cuban announced Wednesday that he would set up a payment plan for his stadium's hourly workers. The team issued their plan on Friday evening. 
  • Lakers & Clippers: Along with the Kings, the teams that play in Staples Center have formed a joint-plan to compensate the hundreds of part-time and contract workers that typically staff games. 
  • Pacers: Pacers owner Herb Simon has given financial aid to the part-time workers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, according to The Athletic's Bob Kravitz.
  • 76ers: The hourly workers at Wells Fargo Center will be compensated during the NBA's hiatus, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark. 
  • Wizards: Owner Ted Leonsis told Capital One Arena workers that they will be paid through March 31 for any Wizards or Capitals games they were scheduled to work, according to The Athletic's Tarik El-Bashir.
  • Bucks: Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo said on Friday he will donate $100,000 to the staff at the Fiserv Forum. All-Star guard Khris Middleton will also donate $100,000 following Antetokounmpo's lead. The Bucks said they would match player donations. 
  • Pistons: Pistons forward Blake Griffin pledged $100,000 to his home arena's staff on Friday, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News
  • Pelicans: On Friday, Zion Williamson pledged to pay the salaries of the Smoothie King Center employees for the next 30 days. 
  • Warriors: Owner Joe Lacob told the San Francisco Chronicle Friday he is working on a plan to help out-of-work support staff. The Warriors announced Friday that the organization has pledged to donate $1 million to a disaster relief fund established by the Warriors Community Foundation.
  • Raptors: The group that owns the Raptors and other pro sports teams in Toronto, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, says it's trying to help 4,000 workers in the city, per the Associated Press.
  • Rockets: Team CEO Tad Brown told the Houston Chronicle on Friday that the organization is working on a plan to help compensate Toyota Center employees.
  • Grizzlies: Robert Pera and the team will be compensating all Grizzlies game night employees for any games missed through the end of the year, according to The Daily Memphian's Geoff Calkins.
  • Knicks: MSG Co. workers are going to be paid in the short-term and the company is working on what their long-term plan will be, according to The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov.
  • Kings: Sacramento will also continue paying employees during this time. In a statement, the team said, "All part-time, hourly Kings event team members will be compensated for the shifts they were previously scheduled to work in March.”
  • Suns: Phoenix announced Friday night that all part-time employees of the team's arena will receive financial compensation for the six remaining scheduled Suns home games and concerts and shows that have been canceled in March.
  • Jazz: Center Rudy Gobert will donate more than $500,000 to support the Vivint Smart Home Arena employee relief fund and COVID-19-related social services relief in Utah, Oklahoma City and the French health care system. The Jazz said Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment are also helping assist employees during the suspended season. Gobert tested positive for the virus last week prior to the NBA halting its season.
  • Spurs: San Antonio established a $500,000 fund that will ensure the organization's part-time employees will be paid through the end of the Spurs' and AHL's San Antonio Rampage seasons.
  • Bulls: The United Center ownership and the Bulls will pay game-day employees through the remainder of the originally scheduled season.
  • Magic: The DeVos Family, owners of the Magic, has funded a $2 million compensation fund for the Orlando Magic, Amway Center, Lakeland Magic and Orlando Solar Bears' hourly workers for games and time missed during the suspended seasons. Magic players have also approached the organization and will provide additional financial assistance.
  • Celtics: Boston will reportedly be paying game-night staff through the remainder of the regular season, according to MassLive's John Karalis.
  • Hornets: Charlotte announced the organization was working together to help pay for the salaries of part-time workers at Spectrum Center who were previously scheduled to work any upcoming Hornets or G League Greensboro Swarm games through April 13.
  • Nuggets: Josh Kroenke announced that Kroenke Sports & Entertainment will provide financial compensation for all the workers at the Pepsi Center affected by the lost wages.
  • Heat: The Arison family, owners of the team, will donate $1 million to a fund dedicated to helping those part-time workers. The team also announced it will provide disaster relief assistance to team and arena part-time employees and will provide funds to their workers.
  • Timberwolves: The Timberwolves and Lynx organizations, led by owner Glen Taylor, pledged to donate up to $1 million in a relief fund for the part-time game day staff at Target Center.
  • Thunder: Oklahoma City said it was offering financial assistance to those part-time workers impacted by the hiatus.
  • Trail Blazers: Portland is pledging $1.4 million to the nearly 1,000 part-time employees who work game nights at Moda Center.