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Boston Bruins, TD Garden owners putting staff on leave and implementing pay cuts

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Delaware North, the company which owns both the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins and the TD Garden, has announced it is putting staff on temporary leave and reducing salaries amid the sports shutdown caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The Buffalo-based food service and hospitality company said it is creating a “temporary business stabilization” plan for its 150 full-time workers employed across the two entities. It is not clear what exactly the salary reductions will be.

Delaware North said in a statement: “Effective April 1, 2020, 68 of our full-time salaried associates will be placed on temporary leave, receiving one week of paid leave and eight weeks of full benefits. Additionally, as of April 1, 2020, 82 of our full-time salaried associates will receive an indefinite salary reduction. Those associates not impacted by the temporary leave or salary reduction have employment contracts.

“As relayed to our associates today, none of these decisions were reached without difficult and painful deliberations. These measures are intended to be temporary with associate employment and compensation returning once our business resumes to its normal state from this unprecedented stoppage,” the statement added.

Earlier this week, the company laid off its part-time ushers at TD Garden, the Boston Globe has reported.

The National Basketball Association’s Boston Celtics are tenants at TD Garden but have a different ownership group.

Delaware North has become the latest major sports organization in the United States to impose temporary pay cuts due to the ongoing health crisis. Company chairman and Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs has an estimated net worth of more than $3bn according to Forbes.

The personnel moves follow in the footsteps of the National Hockey League, which is temporarily cutting the pay of league office employees who make more than $75,000 a year by 25 per cent starting April 1.

US stock car racing series Nascar has told its executives – including the presidents of Nascar-owned tracks – to take a temporary 25-per-cent reduction in salary, while all other employees will have their wages reduced by 20 per cent until racing resumes.

In a similar move, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has decided to indefinitely forgo his salary during the ongoing health crisis. Elsewhere, senior Tour executives have agreed to take to salary cuts, while wages for all other Tour employees will be frozen at 2019 levels.

Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the managing company of the National Basketball Association’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils, announced temporary pay cuts before pulling the initiative within 24 hours amid a major public backlash.

Elsewhere, Dallas Stars chief executive Jim Lites and general manager Jim Nill have taken 50 per cent pay cuts, retroactive to the NHL’s season suspension on March 12, to help alleviate financial stress on the organization caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Jim and I feel a responsibility to be leaders of our team and our group,” Lites told The Dallas Morning News. “The Gaglardis [Stars owners] have been really good to us, they’ve always said yes to us on things we’ve needed to do to build the franchise. I feel a personal thanks to them, they’ve been really good to both of us.”