After providing their 1,400 part-time game-day employees partial payment for April, and committing to keeping their full-time staff employed at least through May, the Twins this week are beginning the process of providing financial aid for more than 800 non-Twins employees who work at Target Field.
Workers who staff the concession stands, which are operated by Delaware North Sportservice, those who clean the ballpark, who are employees of Marsden Services, and a variety of other contract workers were informed Monday and Tuesday that they may begin applying for grants from the Target Field Employee Assistance Fund.
“We rely on a lot of great people to create the Target Field experience, and we know a lot of them are hurting due to the suspension of our season,” Twins president Dave St. Peter said. “With this process, we hope to provide a measure of support for those people as we all try to work through this pandemic.”
The Twins seeded the non-profit fund with an initial grant as part of the $1.3 million the team committed to its ballpark employees, and secured other donations to help provide assistance for those who were laid off by independent contractors once the baseball season was indefinitely delayed. Delaware North, which handles concessions at dozens of stadiums, arenas, airports and theaters, laid off more than 55,000 employees nationally.
Those employees who worked at Target Field in 2019 and were scheduled to do so again this summer can fill out an online application for funds. Once eligibility is confirmed, the team hopes to begin issuing checks “sometime next week,” St. Peter said.
The Twins expect to begin offering refunds, credits or other incentives to ticket-holders next week, too, St. Peter said. Major League Baseball, which is coordinating a refund policy for all 30 teams, plans to announce that policy next Monday or Tuesday, he said.
Nearly 13,000 season tickets have been sold by the Twins, and single-game ticket sales “were very strong” until the coronavirus crisis hit, St. Peter said. Opening Day was sold out, and “we were on a trajectory toward selling north of 2.5 million tickets” in 2020, he said, a level they have not reached since 2012.
Star Tribune photo by Aaron Lavinsky