Professional sports are still sidelined in Milwaukee, but the NBA’s Bucks and MLB’s Brewers are stepping up to help part-time employees at their respective venues. The teams have established their own relief funds to provide financial assistance for event staff at Fiserv Forum and Miller Park.
The Bucks Emergency Relief Fund will provide income to the part-time Fiserv Forum enployees contracted through food and beverage, housekeeping and parking vendors, as well as staffers at Menominee Nation Arena, home of the Bucks’ G-league affiliate team. All players donated to the $1 million fund, with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton leading the effort by pledging $100,000 each.
“Our part-time arena staff is there for us day in and day out, and we want to be there for them during this tumultuous time,” said Bucks Senior VP Alex Lasry. “We are thankful for the generous financial support by every Bucks player, team management and team ownership for these deserving employees, and we will look to continue to raise additional funds for this relief effort.”
The Brewers, meanwhile, are making further contributions to their $1 million fund while Miller Park employees are enduring the MLB’s delayed season. Left fielder Ryan Braun donated $100,000 to the fund, while teammates Lorenzo Cain, Corey Knebel, Josh Lindblom, Brent Suter and Christian Yelich also contributed.
“Milwaukee is a second home to us, and the fans and staff at Miller Park are like family,” Braun said. “This pandemic has created difficult financial situations for many of them, and I know I speak for my teammates in saying that we want to do our part to help address the critical needs. We know this doesn’t solve the problem, but along with the contribution from the Brewers and the Attanasio family, we believe this fund can help support those who are most in need.”
Longtime Brewers radio announcer Bob Uecker pledged $50,000 to the cause as the MLB faces an unprecedented season.
“This is more than supporting those who work at Miller Park,” Uecker said. “In my 50 years with the team, I have become friends with many of these individuals, and some of them have been around the ballpark nearly as long as me. We’re all limited in what we can do to return to our normal lives, but we want to help people be as comfortable as possible until we can get back to starting up.”