As the Timberwolves, Lynx and Wild did last week, Minnesota United reduced its full-time staff Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The club, which will resume play on July 12 in an “MLS is Back’’ tournament in Orlando, did not provide specifics in a statement that announced “some staff reductions.”
The Loons haven’t played a game this season at their privately financed $250 million Allianz Field in St. Paul. MLS teams rely particularly on gate receipts and gameday sales.
The Loons played their only two games at Portland and San Jose to start the season and won both. The Orlando tournament, beginning July 8, involves all 26 teams.
The league intends for teams to return to their respective markets and continue a shortened season starting in late August or early September after the tournament’s final on Aug. 11.
The NHL’s Wild last week announced furloughs and reduced hours for an undisclosed number of employees. So, too, did the NBA’s Timberwolves and WNBA’s Lynx, which laid off 18 employees and instituted temporary pay cuts for others.
Minnesota United opens its “MLS is Back” tournament with a 7 p.m. game against Sporting Kansas City on July 12.
Its two other Group D games are July 17 against Real Salt Lake and July 22 against Colorado.
Those last two group-play games will be played at 9:30 p.m. — 10:30 p.m. Orlando time — in an attempt to beat the Florida summer heat. All 54 tournament games in group play and knockout phase will be played at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex.
All three Loons games will be carried by ESPN and ESPN Deportes and on local SKOR North radio (1500 AM).
Florida’s own Orlando City and Inter Miami play the tournament’s first game July 8.
The top three teams in the six-team Group A will advance to the knockout round of 16 teams. The top two teams in the five other four-team groups will advance, too, as will the three next-best teams from any of the six groups.
The Loons leave Sunday by chartered flight for Orlando, where they will train and likely scrimmage another MLS team or two before their July 12 opener.