Barclays Center to compensate workers during NBA shutdown

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The Barclays Center
File photo by Paul Martinka

The Barclays Center announced on Saturday that employees of the 19,000-cap stadium will receive compensation while the National Basketball Association remains on hiatus due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Stadium officials announced in a joint statement with the Brooklyn Nets that hourly employees will be paid for the shifts they would have worked had the season continued as scheduled. 

“It is our goal to alleviate the hit to household cash flow from work stoppage for people impacted so they can pay for necessary expenses such as rent, food, utilities, and daily necessities,” stadium officials said in a statement. “We want to let our stadium staff know that nobody is left behind and we are all in this together.” 

32BJ, the property services union that represents many Barclays Center employees, thanked the stadium for a move that it said would keep workers safe during the pandemic. 

“Thank you [Barclays Center] for standing with vulnerable workers who keep events at the center running and safe,” the union tweeted. 

Sources within 32BJ, who requested anonymity to discuss ongoing negotiations said however that the deal is not finalized and union reps are still working out details of the plan. 

The basketball season was suspended indefinitely on March 12 after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. All other professional sports put their seasons on pause shortly after. 

While the Nets’ crosstown rivals at Madison Square Garden reportedly also have a plan to compensate stadium workers during the shutdown, the same isn’t true for other teams in the league. The New Orleans Pelicans recently drew fire from sports fans after 19-year-old rookie Zion Williamson pledged to compensate the salaries of all hourly stadium employees, instead of the team itself, which is worth $1.22 Billion according to Statista