Last week the NHL decided to suspend play immediately due to ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus).
While many people were initially focused on the players themselves during this unprecedented time in pro sports, the world’s attention soon shifted to arena workers, who would lose any compensation they’d have made during the remainder of the season.
Some NBA and NHL teams stepped up when it came to paying for game night staff during the coronavirus hiatus, but to the disappointment of many, the Calgary Flames was not one of them.
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On March 14 Calgary Flames season ticket holder and former Saddledome hourly employee Raymond Lau created a GoFundMe campaign to help Calgary Sports and Entertainment’s (CSEC) hourly and part-time employees during this tumultuous time.
As a long time Calgary Flames season ticket holder and former Saddledome hourly employee, I am very disappointed in Calgary Sports and Entertainment’s (CSEC) decision to not pay hourly and event employees for cancelled shifts as a result of the season being paused due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
It is troublesome to see these individuals left in the cold during these difficult times. Lots of teams and players in the NHL and other sports leagues have stepped up to take care of their staff and community. It’s the right thing to do. Arena employees are as much a part of our beloved Flames as the players themselves.
The campaign’s $10,000 goal was quickly surpassed, and now as of Sunday afternoon (less than 24 hours later) nearly $46,000 had been raised.
Lau’s message of helping “fellow Calgarians through this period of adversity” has been embraced and celebrated by the community online — check it out.
I’ve waited with anticipation all day that the #CalgaryFlames would step up and do the right thing.
— Jeff Davison (@JeffDavisonYYC) March 15, 2020
— Brody Butchart (@creyyc) March 15, 2020
Here’s to the Oilers today, announcing an intention to help the part time staff at Rogers Place. Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets went in the other direction.
— Terry Jones (@byterryjones) March 14, 2020
— Jim C (@JimXfield) March 15, 2020
Looks like Milan Lucic, Lauren Giordano and Zac Rinaldo chipped into this. Amazing gesture. https://t.co/IyqZT3tsPn
— Kristen Anderson (@KdotAnderson) March 15, 2020
With coronavirus on the rise, Health Canada is reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.