Professional sports teams in the Twin Cities moved to help assist employees who will be out of work during the shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is an extremely difficult period of time for everyone,” Wild owner Craig Leipold said in a statement released by the team on Tuesday. “I am very thankful for everything these part-time employees do for our organization and for our guests. I also want to say thank you to our Wild players, many of whom reached out during this process and all of whom are contributing to these efforts.”
The Wild and Xcel Energy Center have donated more than 2,400 pounds of perishable food items from the arena and Herbies On The Park to Catholic Charities Dorothy Day Place and Ronald McDonald House Charities since the NHL paused its season Thursday. Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor announced both organizations will pledge a $1 million relief fund to aid part-time workers of Target Center events.
The fund is set to provide assistance to hundreds of Target Center employees who are “adversely impacted by the loss of games at Target Center” as the NBA season is suspended because of the coronavirus epidemic.
The Wolves had to work through some red tape to set up the relief fund as several others around the NBA pledged to help their workers.
In the Wolves’ situation, they do not employ or pay a lot of the workers at Target Center, which is operated by ASM Global. Food vendors are under control of Levy Restaurants. Taylor, who also owns the Star Tribune, and his teams have worked over the past week to clear the hurdles necessary to set up this fund through the teams.
“Our staff who work so hard to make the Target Center experience memorable for fans are the backbone of what we do,” Taylor said in a statement. “From the people who show fans to their seats, to the greeters at the entrance, I want to do my part to alleviate financial concern that come from missing games due to the national pandemic.”
Major League Baseball will delay its season by at least two months, while the NHL and NBA seasons are paused indefinitely. The Lynx season is set to start May 15.