A powerful question on the minds of many part-time workers these days is when and where their next pay day will come from. For may in the St. Petersburg area, the arrival of a new baseball season meant the promise of steady gameday employment.
Now that coronavirus fears have shuttered the baseball season until mid-May at the earliest, a lot of those stadium employees find themselves isolated, and wondering what their next move will be.
On Tuesday afternoon, MLB announced that each of the 30 Major League clubs would pledge $1 million in relief funding for out of work gameday staff.
Rays President Brian Auld made it very clear that the gameday staff are a vital part of the Rays family. “Our gameday staff are the familiar faces that our fans know and love,” he said. “They are part of the fabric of the ballpark experience at Tropicana Field, and they are an essential part of our operations. We are proud that all 30 Major League Baseball clubs have made this commitment to their gameday employees.”
Similar sentiments were shared by the other teams, and each team will make its own announcement about the dispersal of these pledged fund, and those decisions will be communicated directly to gameday staff first and foremost.
Its impossible to imagine a trip to the stadium without food service workers providing our beer and hot dogs, vendors walking the aisles with peanuts and pop, and the dozens of other services these gameday staff provide. Knowing the clubs are taking care of them during these uncertain times is at least one silver lining.