Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers have furloughed about 60 people, representing 12 per cent of its front office staff, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to render heavy financial impacts.
The club had previously imposed wage cuts, and were among the first clubs within MLB do so, as it had attempted to avoid furloughs. But as as the league plans to return to play on July 23, the continued prospect of no fans of attendance and the lack of corresponding gate revenue prompted the Rangers to make the next step.
“After four months of cost saving measures, budget cuts, and salary measures, the severe financial consequences of the shutdown and lingering uncertainty about when we will play in front of fronts have left us out of options,” said Ray Davis, Rangers managing partner. “The furloughs, which touch a number of baseball and business departments, reflect the realities of playing in an empty Globe Life Field, the shutdown of Minor League Baseball, and other considerations related to the business challenges we face.”
The Rangers had intended for 2020 to be a banner year for the club fiscally as it opens its new $1.2bn, retractable-roof Globe Field Field this year in Arlington, Texas.
A series of other MLB clubs, particularly those in smaller markets, have already made similar personnel moves involving not only furloughs but various staff pay cuts. Rangers employees who were furloughed will receive two weeks of severance pay and medical benefits through October.
“We have spent a great deal of time trying to find another course that would be less painful,” Davis said. “I wish there was another way, but this decision is necessary for us to endure this crisis and emerge as strong as possible on the other side.”