Colorado Avalanche owners, KSE, have announced that they will continue to pay employees despite the cancellation of events at Pepsi Center.
The Colorado Avalanche and entire NHL continue the hockey hiatus in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve now been three days without hockey, and there’s no real end in sight for the pause.
As noted previously, the NHL is continuing to run possible models for how the remaining season and playoffs can look. The hope is that they can award the Stanley Cup this year.
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Meanwhile the NHL Players’ Association announced recently that players could potentially star informal practices in team practice facilities as early as the upcoming week.
There was one glaring item of unfinished business, though. The Pepsi Center is essentially shut down for the foreseeable future. All the people who work games — and you remember that they’re basketball and lacrosse in addition to hockey — and concerts are out of a job.
For some, it’s a supplemental source of income. For others, it’s their livelihood. Regardless, it’s money, and suddenly being without in these uncertain times is a hardship.
Well, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment announced today that they’re going to work toward helping those employees. KSE Vice-Chairman Josh Kroenke released a statement to the following:
"“Our hourly KSE event staff plays an integral role in ensuring our fan experience is first class in every way, and it is with these thoughts in mind that KSE will continue to pay its part-time and hourly employees for the next 30 days. We also have asked our vendors and partners to do the same.”"
That is big news. KSE isn’t responsible for all the staff who work games, but surely an encouragement from the owner of the teams you make money off of will go a long way toward convincing their partners to do so.
Kroenke explained the decision thus:
"“We are not health experts. However, we are business and community leaders, and we all have a role to play in helping one another.”"
This news came at a time when other teams are doing the same, while some are doing far less. For example, the Calgary Flames sent an email to employees with the following information:
"“Alberta Employment Standards requires that employers provide 24 hours’ notice for cancellation of scheduled shifts. CSEC will pay employees where the notification of cancellation was less than 24 hours. No payment will be made for shifts cancelled with greater than 24 hours’ notice.”"
Wow, Flames. Ebeneezer Scrooge would be so proud. Meanwhile, Boston Bruins pest Brad Marchand has had to start a Go Fund Me for TD Garden staff.
KSE is also reaching out to the community. They work with a local food recovery program called We Don’t Waste. They donated six pallets of food that would have otherwise gone to waste with the sports hiatus.
I’m proud of KSE for stepping up in this time of need. They didn’t have to. Stan Kroenke, Josh’s father, is no stranger to controversy and he honestly couldn’t care less what people think of him — as St. Louisians.
However, the Colorado Avalanche ownership has stepped in to help, and I’m glad for the staff that they’ve done so.