More Team Owners, Athletes Aiding Those Affected By Coronavirus
Bulls Chair JERRY REINSDORF and Blackhawks Chair ROCKY WIRTZ made a more than $3.3M commitment to the "roughly 1,200 workers" who help run United Center on game days, according to Danny Ecker of CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS (3/16). Meanwhile, in Orlando, Mike Bianchi notes the DEVOS family, which owns the Magic, is funding a $2M "compensation package that will pay hourly employees for the rest of the regular season" for games missed at Amway Center (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/17). In Detroit, JC Reindl notes the Quicken Loans Community Fund and Gilbert Family Foundation will donate a combined $1.2M to "help with the impact of coronavirus in Detroit" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/17). In New Orleans, Amie Just notes Saints and Pelicans Owner GAYLE BENSON will be donating $1M to create the Gayle Benson Community Assistance Fund "in response to the coronavirus pandemic" (NOLA.com, 3/16). In Atlanta, Eric Jackson noted Falcons Owner ARTHUR BLANK "has committed to pay all hourly employees who work under The Blank Family of Business" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/15).
MEAL PLANS: The Chargers made a $250,000 donation to the L.A. Regional Food Bank to help out with coronavirus relief (L.A. Food Bank). In Indianapolis, Gregg Doyel notes Colts Owner JIM IRSAY is challenging locals to "raise $200,000 for Gleaners Food Bank." If that amount is raised, Irsay will "write a check to Gleaners" for $1M (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 3/17). The Broncos are "funding 100,000 meals to the Food Bank of the Rockies to help those who have been affected" by coronavirus, while Broncos K BRANDON MCMANUS is "pledging 20,000 meals through his Project McManus Foundation" (DENVER POST, 3/17). Chiefs WR TYREEK HILL is "partnering with Harvesters to donate 6,000 meals to families" (K.C. STAR, 3/17). In Chicago, Mark Gonzales notes Cubs 1B ANTHONY RIZZO's eponymous foundation will "provide meals to nurses at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital through the foundation’s restaurant partners." Rizzo is a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/17).
HITTING THE RIGHT NOTES: In St. Louis, Jacob Barker notes the Blues have "launched a new fund" that is a collaboration between Blues ownership, led by TOM STILLMAN, players, D ALEX PIETRANGELO and local donors, led by a $100,000 donation from Blues season-ticket holder and entrepreneur ANDY FRISELLA. How much the fund has raised thus far "was unclear." It appears the fund will "only benefit the several hundred employees who are paid directly by the Blues organization on game nights." Another 400-500 employees "work for concession contractor Levy Restaurants" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/17). See a listing of players and teams who have pledged to financially support arena workers.