KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With the start of the Major League Baseball season delayed at least six weeks, each team will donate $1 million to help seasonal ballpark workers impacted by the closures.
MLB announced a suspension of spring training and delayed start to the regular season last week.
On Monday, MLB said it would delay the season until at least mid-May in accordance with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines discouraging public gatherings of more than 50 people.
The Royals announced plans to have staff work from home, when possible, and to close the team store and box office at Kauffman Stadium.
But for the employees — ticket booth operators, ticket-takers and security personnel, concessions employees and others essential to in-season ballpark operations — the loss of hours and wages remains a pressing issue.
“Over the past 48 hours, I have been approached by representatives of all 30 clubs to help assist the thousands of ballpark employees affected by the delay in the start of the Major League Baseball season,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Motivated by a desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community, each Club has committed $1 million. The individual clubs will be announcing more details surrounding this support effort in their local communities.”
The move is designed to help ease the economic uncertainty created by shutdowns related to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
It was immediately clear how the Kansas City Royals planned to disperse that $1 million.
“The timing of these announcements will vary because of the need to coordinate with state and local laws as well as collective bargaining obligations in an effort to maximize the benefits realized by each group of employees,” Manfred said. “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.”
Opening Day was originally scheduled for next week, but has been delayed until mid-May at the earliest.