Amid the MLB season’s lengthy delay, the New York Yankees are helping aid the financial toll COVID-19 is having on stadium staff out of work. The team has set up a $1.4 million emergency fund to aid eligible Yankee Stadium workers while the venue is vacant during the interrupted MLB and MLS seasons.
Plan guidelines, as shared by the team’s official Twitter account, apply to full-time and part-time employees of the New York Yankees, Legends Hospitality, and New York City FC. To be eligible, workers must have been scheduled for Yankees and New York City FC games that have been postponed, and completed a set number of working hours during the teams’ 2019 seasons.
“The grants are intended to ease the burden caused by the pandemic associated with essential expenses such as food, medical care, shelter and other vital needs,” reads the Yankees’ official statement. “Our hope is that these grants will provide a degree of assistance for those game day staff members impacted by this crisis, even though we recognize that the vast array of personal needs during this unprecedented time cannot be completely satisfied by these measures.”
There are several caveats with the funding, however. Eligibility does not ensure funding, as all who wish to receive a grant must apply online. All applications will be considered but only select staff will receive funds not meant to serve as a standard paycheck.
“Assistance will be granted for certain personal, family, living or funeral needs that are incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads the plans outlines. “All financial assistance provided will be determined based on need in the sole discretion of the Yankees without regard to an eligible employee’s job, service, compensation or employee benefits with River, Legends or NYCFC. Under no circumstances will assistance under the Program provide, or be determined in relation to, wages, income replacement, or continuation of compensation or employee benefits for any eligible employee.”
There is no telling as to how many employees will be granted funding from the program. However, with New York City serving as the new global epicenter of the virus and the MLB eyeing a potential start date three months away, there will likely be an influx of staff applying for financial assistance. Depending on the pandemic’s course, the program may not last long.
“The Program has limited resources available to provide assistance and it may be amended or terminated at any time by the Yankees in their sole discretion,” reads the plan.
New York has seen over 100,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and a death toll of nearly 3,000 as national unemployment figures rise.