Athletes and teams are helping out-of-work arena employees continue to get paid as the coronavirus spread disrupts the sports calendar.
Shortly after the NBA suspended play last Wednesday, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban helped start the initiative when he said he would set up a payment plan for his arena's hourly workers. Many others have followed Cuban's lead and shown that even during hard times the sports community sticks together.
Many current and retired athletes have also donated memorabilia to Athletes for COVID-19 Relief to raise money for the Center for Disease Philanthropy's response fund. Anyone can make a $25 donation and be entered to win their favorite player's signed memorabilia. Athletes who have contributed items include David Ortiz, Steph Curry, Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, Elena Delle Donne and more.
Here's a look at all the players and teams who have pledged to support 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: Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai announced a plan to provide relief to hourly Barclays Center employees until the end of May unless events are rescheduled before then.
- 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 the part-time workers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, according to The Athletic's Bob Kravitz.
- 76ers: The team announced on March 13 that hourly workers at Wells Fargo Center will be compensated during the NBA's hiatus, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark. On March 23, the Sixers asked full-time, salaried employees to temporarily reduce their salaries by 20%. However, the 76ers backtracked the next day and said they would continue to pay employees' full wages.
- 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, the Bulls and Blackhawks will pay game day employees through the remainder of the originally scheduled seasons.
- 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.
- Hornets: Team owners and players will provide financial assistance to Spectrum Center's part-time employees. They will compensate workers who were scheduled to work at remaining Hornets games, G League Greensboro Swarm games and other Spectrum Center events that have been suspended or postponed.
- Heat: The Heat and American Airlines Arena will provide disaster relief assistance to team and part-time arena employees, food and beverage, security and housekeeping partners. The Arison family's foundation, owners of the Heat, will also donate $1 million to a fund dedicated to helping their part-time workers.
- Panthers: Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will donate $100,000 to support part-time staffers who work at BB&T Center. His teammates will match his pledge, and the team's ownership also plans to contribute.
- Penguins: The team announced a plan to pay part-time and full-time employees during the suspended NHL season. Funding will come from players, the Penguins Foundation and the Mario Lemieux Foundation.
- Blackhawks: The United Center ownership, the Bulls and Blackhawks will pay game-day employees through the remainder of the originally scheduled seasons.
- Ducks: Owners Henry and Susan Samueli of the Ducks and the Honda Center will continue to pay full- and part-time employees through March 31.
- Maple Leafs: Players, coaches and management across all Toronto teams are pitching in to form a fund for workers of local venues.
- Devils: Owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer will pay hourly employees and event staff members for postponed Devils games and Prudential Center events.
- Lightning: Owner Jeff Vinik will compensate part-time employees through the end of March. This includes people who were scheduled to work at the NCAA tournament and other Amalie Arena events.
- Flyers: The hourly workers at Wells Fargo Center will be compensated through at least the end of March.
- Senators: Ottawa has developed a program based on the individual needs of its staff. These programs will help any part-time employee who requires support to avoid financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Wild: The Wild will pay their part-time employees scheduled to work the final six games of the regular season that have been suspended.
- Canadiens: Montreal will provide financial support to its 1,200 game-day employees who were scheduled to work remaining regular-season Canadiens and Laval Rockets games that have since been suspended. Canadiens players will also offer additional financial contributions.
- Oilers: The nearly 1,650 part-time employees at Rogers Place will receive financial assistance from the team.
- Blues: The organization created the Blues Employee Assistance Fund to financially assist gameday workers at Enterprise Center due to the pause in the NHL season.
- Canucks: The team established a financial assistance program for part-time employees and is looking into additional employment opportunities for them in the community.
- Capitals: 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.
- Flames: Calgary adopted an income bridge support program for qualifying employees.
- Red Wings: Ilitch Holdings announced that it set up a $1 million fund to cover a month's wages for part-time and event staff, including those impacted by canceled Tigers spring training games. The company owns the Tigers and Red Wings and operates Little Caesars Arena, where the Pistons and Red Wings play.
- Jets: True North Sports & Entertainment announced that all "casual and part-time employees will be paid in full" for all remaining Jets and Manitoba Moose home games through the end of March.
- Bruins: The Jacobs family established a $1.5 million fund for Bruins and TD Garden part-time gameday employees who will be financially burdened if the final games of the regular season are not played.
- Astros: Star outfielder George Springer is donating $100,000 to help support Minute Maid Park employees during the sports shutdown.
- Indians: Pitcher Trevor Bauer started a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $1 million for MLB game day staff. Bauer donated $10,000 of his own money.
- Cardinals: Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright and his wife, Jenny, have donated $250,000 to Cardinals minor leaguers during the coronavirus crisis.
- Tigers: Ilitch Holdings announced on Friday that Detroit is setting up a $1 million fund to cover a month's wages for part-time and event staff, including those impacted by the canceled Spring Training games. The company owns the Tigers and Red Wings and operates Little Caesars Arena, where the Pistons and Red Wings play.
- Blue Jays: Players, coaches and management across all Toronto teams are pitching in to form a fund for workers of local venues.
- Braves: First baseman Freddie Freeman pledged to donate $50,000 to the Atlanta Food Bank, $25,000 to The Salvation Army and $50,000 to Giving Kitchen, which provides emergency assistance to food-service workers.
- MLB Teams: All 30 teams have pledged to give $1 million each to support ballpark employees, per ESPN's Jeff Passan.
49ers: The team has pledged to give $500,000 to support employees and the greater San Francisco community in response to the ongoing pandemic.
This post will be updated.