Multiple NBA Teams Commit To Paying Arena Workers During Hiatus

Some of the first comments Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made on Wednesday night after the NBA announced that it had suspended the 2019/20 season were focused on the team’s part-time, seasonal, and hourly employees, such as security guards and concession workers at the American Airlines Center. Cuban made it clear that the Mavs plan to take care of those employees.

“I reached out to the folks at the arena and our folks at the Mavs to find out what it would cost to support, financially support, people who aren’t going to be able to come to work,” Cuban told reporters, per Mark Medina of USA Today. “They get paid by the hour, and this was their source of income. So, we’ll do some things there. We may ask them to go do some volunteer work in exchange, but we’ve already started the process of having a program in place. I don’t have any details to give, but it’s certainly something that’s important to me.”

Since then, a handful of other teams have followed Cuban’s lead. Hawks owner Tony Ressler had been preparing for this possibility and had planned all along to compensate the team’s full-time and part-time employees who will have their jobs disrupted by the NBA’s hiatus, writes Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“We have a pretty clear set of priorities in this kind of remarkable time that we’re living through,” Ressler said. “Protecting our fans, protecting our employees, and protecting the reputation of our league, all of which is important, but let there be no confusion, that means taking care of all of our employees, our full-time, our part-time.”

After Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie tweeted about taking care of non-salaried arena staff, team owner Joe Tsai responded that the Nets are working on a plan for those workers.

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love pledged $100K of his own money to aid arena employees displaced by the NBA’s stoppage, telling ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that he hopes “others will step up” as well. The Cavs announced (via Twitter) shortly thereafter that they’d be compensating all of their arena and event staff members as if every game and event at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is still taking place.

While only a handful of teams have addressed the issue so far, I’d be surprised if that list doesn’t continue to grow in the coming days. Team owners and players will be affected financially by the suspension, but their losses likely won’t be as damaging in the short term as they would be for the lower-level employees who had been relying on the hourly wages earned at NBA events.

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14 thoughts on “Multiple NBA Teams Commit To Paying Arena Workers During Hiatus

  1. El Don

    You can always count on Mark Cuban to do the right thing, the guy is awesome, he really cares for the little guy, unlike most rich folks. He is my hero, the best sports owner in the league.

  2. madmanTX

    Funny how you all conveniently forget the bad stuff when guys like Cuban and Kobe do something good. Cuban didn’t answer enough for what happened in 2018 with his front office. Getting a tax write off for handing out cash, yeah, make him King already.

    • floridagators

      So every time he speaks he should lead with what happened in his past? Where does it stop? Move on.

    • southbeachbully

      No one is perfect but when someone steps up in an act of kindness, lets not not ignore it because it can, and usually does, inspire others to do good.

  3. Thronson5

    Cuban, being the first person to do this, almost immediately after the suspension was announced was truly an amazing act on his behalf. I applaud this guy. Not a fan of the Mavs but I’ve always been a fan of him and this is just one of many reasons I think so highly of him. I’m really happy to hear other owners are doing the same. You know they are already losing so much money from games being suspended they still do this..that is really awesome of them! And hats off to the players who are donating as well, really cool and I hope more players do the same.

  4. Al Hirschen

    You know there is now word from Jim Dolan about paying his workers at MSG who work Rangers and Knicks games

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