As you may have seen floating around Twitter, many people who work in sports are part-time, hourly, or contract freelancers. The temporary suspension of games and events due to COVID-19 means no pay for many of these people, who range from journalists and analysts to security and concession stand workers. Locally, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment has suspended all events at Pepsi Center, Paramount Theatre, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and 1STBANK Center for the next 30 days, which has the potential to impact thousands of workers around the Denver area.
While one of the chief complaints of fans of the Colorado Rapids and other KSE-owned sports teams is that owner Stan Kroenke and family are cheapskates, they are doing the right thing in this case.
In a press release sent out Saturday night, Josh Kroenke stated that:
“One of the many consequences of the pandemic is its effect on area businesses of all sizes. Many companies – in particular the service industry – are temporarily laying off hard-working employees due to the cancellation of events amid an uncertain future. Our hourly KSE event staff plays an integral role in ensuring our fan experience is first class in every way, and it is with these thoughts in mind that KSE will continue to pay its part-time and hourly employees for the next 30 days. We also have asked our vendors and partners to do the same.”
The company is also working with a local food recovery program called We Don’t Waste. KSE donated “six pallets of food that would have perished given the recent event suspensions at our numerous venues.”
Kroenke added, “it is a very trying time for our tight-knit sports community, but more importantly for human beings in general. My father and I have personally had many conversations with coaches, players, executives, and support staff from our teams and clubs around the world, and it is inspiring to hear the determination to not only get through this difficult period but also to help and motivate others while doing so. From all of us here at KSE and on behalf of my family, please stay smart, stay safe, and support one another. We look forward to seeing all of our fans back in our venues at the appropriate time!”