Minnesota sports teams to pay stadium workers for games missed due to Coronavirus

Target Field. Photo credit: Greg Kellogg ( Greg Kellogg/FOX 9 photojournalist )

With Coronavirus bring the sports world to a grinding halt, teams and organizations across the country are stepping up to help stadium workers who are most financially affected.

The Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Twins both announced on Tuesday they’re donating money to help stadium employees financially impacted by the shutdown. The Twins, along with the other 29 franchises in Major League Baseball, are donating $1 million to help Target Field employees.

“The Twins family extends beyond our players and staff, and includes all those who help make Target Field the best experience in baseball. To help those in our family most affected in these challenging and uncertain times, we are pledging at least $1 million to support our gameday staff,” Twins officials said in a statement.

The Twins were set to host the Oakland A’s in early April for the home opener at Target Field, but the season’s start has been delayed due to Covid-19. MLB canceled Spring Training, and most players went their separate ways. They won’t convene any earlier than mid-May, and some fear the season may not start until July.

Target Field employees work 81 games per season, not including the playoffs.

The Wild announced Tuesday they will pay their part-time employees for the six remaining regular season home games that were left in the NHL regular season at Xcel Energy Center, as the Wild were chasing one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference.

Wild players themselves are contributing to make sure part-time employees get paid.

"This is an extremely difficult period of time for everyone," said Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold in a statement. "I am very thankful for everything these part-time employees do for our organization and for our guests. I also want to say thank you to our Wild players, many of whom reached out during this process and all of whom are contributing to these efforts."

The Wild is also donating 2,400 pounds of perishable food items from Xcel Energy Center and Hrbie’s on the Park to Catholic Charities Dorothy Day Place, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx have also followed suit. Led by owner Glen Taylor, the franchise will donate $1 million to a relief fund set up for part-time employees at Target Center impacted by Covid-19. The Wolves had nine regular season home games left before the NBA suspended its season. The Lynx were set to open their 2020 home season on May 17, which is now in jeopardy.

“Our staff who work so hard to make the Target Center experience memorable for fans are the backbone of what we do,” said Timberwolves Owner Glen Taylor in a statement. “From the people who show fans to their seats, to the greeters at the entrance, I want to do my part to alleviate the financial concern that comes from missing games due to this national pandemic. We will get through this difficult time together and look forward to the day when our players, fans and staff are reunited again at Target Center.”