Braves, Major League Baseball donating millions to ballpark employees

Major League Baseball is committing $30 million – a million per team – to team employees impacted by the league’s absence due to the coronavirus outbreak, ESPN reported Tuesday.

With the sports world frozen, the lack of income for stadium and arena workers became an immediate concern. NBA teams, and even some players, declared they’d take care of their workers. MLB had been in the process of figuring out its plans.

MLB’s $1 million contribution per team is to help cover lost wages of stadium employees who’ve been affected by the sport’s absence.

The Braves also announced, through the Atlanta Braves foundation, they’re creating a special disaster relief fund “to help gameday workers and certain other affected members of our baseball community with special financial needs that may come up before Braves baseball begins, and will position the club to support our baseball family and our communities in the coming weeks and months.”

“We are in an uncertain time and want to help our gameday staff who truly make Truist Park feel like home,” said chairman Terry McGuirk in a statement. “Our gameday staff are part of our family and they are the reason for our friendly and welcoming atmosphere. So, in this time of need, we want to do our part and help them.”

The Braves also said they will help their minor-league park workers, as well as compensating the staff at the team’s new spring training home, CoolToday Park, for the canceled exhibition games.

“The Braves also intend to provide certain relief assistance for ballpark workers at each of the Minor League Baseball facilities the Braves operate, including the Gwinnett Stripers, Mississippi Braves, Rome Braves and Danville Braves. Additionally, gameday staff at CoolToday Park will be paid for the canceled spring training games.

Details on the implementation are still being formalized to ensure we maximize the need to coordinate with state and local laws as well as collective bargaining obligations to maximize the benefits for each affected group. The organization will communicate directly to the affected staff with those details in the coming days/weeks.

The Braves thoughts continue to be with our community as we navigate this together.”

Fans can donate to the fund at www.braves.com/give.

MLB announced Monday it would follow the CDC’s recommendation of restricting events exceeding 50 people for the next two months, meaning the earliest baseball could return – and even this seems optimistic – is mid-May.

As many have noted, the league’s next step will be in how it handles minor-league pay during the hiatus.

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