United Center Lending Aid During Coronavirus Pandemic
Only two weeks after hosting a Blackhawks game for the last time before the shutdown of the NHL season and the nationwide "intensification of the coronavirus outbreak, the United Center is radically shifting gears," as the arena will "soon host large supplies of medical equipment, food and other necessities in response to the pandemic." A spokesperson said that the transition "should be in full effect by next week, with more information and details available in the next few days." The United Center "could be a trendsetter among NHL and NBA arenas in large cities as it repurposes during the epidemic" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/26).
HELPING HANDS: Terry and Kim Pegula, the Buffalo Bills Foundation and the Buffalo Sabres Foundation will commit at least $1.2M to "area residents in need during the COVID-19 pandemic." The Bills and Sabres foundations will "contribute to the Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund." The financial commitment also will go to "FeedMore WNY (formerly the Food Bank of WNY and Meals on Wheels for WNY) and the Rural Outreach Center." The remainder of the aid will "support first responders, hospital workers and nurses while providing protective equipment and medical supplies." Meanwhile, Bills C Mitch Morse and his wife, Caitlin, have "pledged to donate $100,000 to FeedMore WNY." Bills QB Josh Allen also "will contribute $25,000" (THEATHLETIC.com, 3/25)....The Texans have "donated $100,000 to launch the Greater Houston Covid-19 recovery fund" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/26).
BASKETBALL OFFERS SUPPORT: LeBron James "loves Taco Tuesdays," and he and the LeBron James Family Foundation "fed 340 I Promise School students and their families chicken and beef tacos, rice, beans and tortillas with all the fixings." He also "helped an Akron restaurant that has been affected by coronavirus" (USA TODAY, 3/26)....Alonzo Mourning's Overtown Youth Center has "been a staple in the historically black neighborhood for nearly two decades." Mourning, in "partnership with food manufacturing and delivery company DeliverLean, led a group of volunteers in handing out free meals at Gibson Park in Overtown." Yesterday's food giveaway is the "first of many." They will "continue every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for as long as necessary" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/26)....Magic F Aaron Gordon is "taking action to help make sure Orange County’s students get what they need" during the coronavirus pandemic, making a "contribution to the Homeless Education fund at the Foundation for OCPS" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/26).
MORE GOOD STUFF: Lightning C Steven Stamkos announced that the team would "create a fund to help support all of the part-time employees with the team and in Amalie Arena." Stamkos also said that the Lightning would "donate 500,000 meals to Feeding Tampa Bay" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 3/26)....Matthew Stafford and his wife, Kelly, will pay for "$5,000 worth of free meals" for "workers at local hospitals, many of which are at or nearing capacity." Lions RB coach Kyle Caskey and his wife, Kayla, also are "raising money through a virtual food drive, with a goal of $20,000 to provide roughly 60,000 meals to people in need through Gleaners Community Food Bank (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/26).
EXECUTIVE INNOVATION: Warriors VP/Government & Public Affairs Yoyo Chan has "communicated daily with San Francisco officials about the city’s response to the spread of the respiratory disease," and her intel has "helped educate the nearly 500 Warriors employees working from home as they wrestle with what an extended hiatus in revenue could mean." The Warriors are one of the "few pro sports teams with a staffer who serves as a liaison between the organization and City Hall," and Chan is "emerging as one of the Warriors’ most promising young executives" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/26).