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Financial help for game day, event staff at major league sports venues

Sports

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – As the major sports leagues one-by-one announced the suspensions of their seasons due to COVID-19, a major concern emerged.

What would that mean for game day and event staff at the venues? 

Yesterday, Major League Baseball announced that each team would establish a million dollar fund to support those workers, including the A’s and the Giants.

“I consider myself lucky working for major league baseball and the A’s. I’m sure a lot of people who are being laid off and restaurants and hotels and places like that are not going to get any support, because everyone’s losing money. It’s incredibly generous, I think, for the baseball teams to be providing some support,” Hal Gordon said. 

Hal Gordon, better known as Hal the Hot Dog Guy to A’s baseball fans, estimates that about 40% of his annual income comes from his days as a vendor at the Coliseum. 

Unlike stadium employees, vendors contract with an outside company and make money from commission and tips. 

“As a vendor, your income depends on how good the team’s doing, if people come to the stadium or not. I don’t think anyone’s ever thought of if no one ever came to the stadium, and it became completely impossible to do your job,” Gordon said. 

That’s the current predicament for the thousands of event workers across the major pro sports. 

The Giants estimate they have about 1,500 part time game day employees. The Warriors also established a relief fund about 1,000. 

“Right now I know that people are still sort of living off of whatever savings they had, but as soon as we start actually hitting these months where we’re not gonna have any baseball, there are some people who have other part time jobs so they’re gonna be okay, but there are some people I’ve heard from who are not gonna have any other sources of income, so it’s gonna be tough,” Gordon said.

Gordon has talked to the A’s about possible fundraising ideas to contribute to the team’s relief fund.

Meanwhile, a number of owners and athletes, from the NBA to the NHL, have already made pledges of their own to help stadium staff during this time.

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