MLB teams to pay $1 million each toward ballpark workers during coronavirus hiatus

Robert E. Sanchez sells peanuts and Cracker Jack during the 2017 National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium.
(Mark Potts / Los Angeles Times)

On the day after Major League Baseball conceded the delay in its season could last months rather than weeks, each team has agreed to contribute $1 million to a fund to assist ballpark workers who suddenly found themselves out of work because of the coronavirus hiatus.

On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended sporting events and other large gatherings be called off through at least May 9. On Monday, commissioner Rob Manfred said MLB would follow that recommendation.

Manfred said in a statement Tuesday that all 30 teams then reached out to him about how to “help assist the thousands of ballpark employees” affected by the delay.

Manfred said the owners were “motivated by desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community.”


Manfred said each club would announce details particular to their community while conforming to state and local laws as well as collective bargaining agreements.

With major sports leagues halting play over the coronavirus, small businesses that count on game-day traffic face difficult economic prospects.

March 14, 2020

He added: “I am proud that our clubs came together so quickly and uniformly to support these individuals who provide so much to the game we love.”

On Thursday, the union representing more than 5,600 workers at five Los Angeles-area pro sports venues asked owners to maintain wages and benefits for game-day employees affected by the sports shutdown. On Saturday, the owners of the Kings, Lakers and Clippers jointly announced a fund to help Staples Center workers. The total financial relief is expected to exceed $5 million.

The Lakers have 10 scheduled home games left in the regular season, the Clippers nine, and the Kings seven, with the workers losing money now.

In baseball, each team plays 81 regular-season home games. The prospect of a shortened season has become increasingly likely. The All-Star Game, scheduled July 14 at Dodger Stadium, could be delayed this year or rescheduled for another year.