The Pittsburgh Penguins will pay arena employees for games missed due to the Chinese coronavirus outbreak, the team announced Friday.
In a statement, the National Hockey League (NHL) team said it would make sure all full-time and part-time workers at the PPG Paints Arena in Pennsylvania have the financial support they need during the health crisis.
The statement continued:
Funding will come from Pittsburgh Penguins players, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and the Mario Lemieux Foundation. When the NHL announced the pause on Thursday, because of the threat of coronavirus COVID-19, the Penguins had six regular season games remaining on the schedule.
Prior to the announcement, the team addressed its fans on Twitter and said it would remain in contact with NHL officials following the league’s decision to pause the regular season for the time being:
A statement regarding the pause of the 2019.20 NHL season: pic.twitter.com/pDF32vbU5r
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 12, 2020
Friday, the hockey team’s president and CEO, David Morehouse, said he and other officials did not want the arena’s employees to worry about their financial status because of the coronavirus.
“The ushers, ticket takers, concession workers, cleaning staff and other arena workers are the backbone of a Penguins hockey game at PPG Paints Arena, and a big part of the Penguins’ family,” he noted.
“Our owners, Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, and our players, led by Sidney Crosby, thought it was essential to help them through this. We have come together to ensure that they will not lose pay because of the pause in our season,” Morehouse stated.
Following the announcement, Twitter users expressed their gratitude for the team’s decision.
“Read that and it gave me chills, honestly. Been a Pens fan since ever and this is just such an amazing gesture on your part,” one person wrote.
“As a ticket taker, my family and I thank you. You’re a class act,” another user commented.