As the novel coronavirus has wrecked the New York area, sports owners with deep pockets have emerged to help in the fight to battle this deadly pandemic. Here’s a look:
The Madison Square Garden chairman, who has tested positive for coronavirus, but is said to have mild symptoms, is paying arena workers in his many venues through at least May 3 and has established a $2.3 million relief fund for them.
With help from the Nets’ owner, China is donating 2,000 much-needed ventilators to New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday. Cuomo singled out Tsai, his wife Clara Wu Tsai and Jack Ma, co-founder, with Tsai, of Alibaba, for helping to make it happen. Tsai has also pledged to pay Nets and Barclays Center workers through the end of May if games and events are canceled, as is expected.
Fred and Jeff Wilpon
On Friday, the Mets announced they were creating a COVID-19 Disaster Assistance Fund to aid employees who haven’t worked due to the pandemic and they are putting $1.2 million into the program for eligible game day staff, employees who worked 15 days last season and anyone who lost work after the season was suspended on March 12. Employees can file an application on the team’s official website starting Tuesday.
On Thursday, the Yankees established a $1.4 million COVID-19 Disaster Relief Program that will provide assistance for eligible full- and part-time game-day staff impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, including those working for the Yankees, Legends Hospitality and NYCFC.
John Mara and Steve Tisch
The Giants are offering free childcare to emergency response personnel at the Meadowlands YMCA for the next 10 weeks. During this crisis, the program works with the Bergen County Department of Health, Hudson Regional Hospital and Hackensack University Medical Center for children of those who work at the aforementioned place. The donation has allowed the YMCA to expand the program for up to 42 children.
Woody and Christopher Johnson
The Johnson family, which owns the Jets, announced March 23 it was making a $1 million donation to United Way Agencies to support in the fight against the coronavirus. That includes the United Way of New York City’s COVID-19 Community Fund, the United Way of Northern Jersey’s ALICE Recovery Fund and the United Way of Long Island’s United Together: A Response Fund for COVID-19.
Josh Harris and David Blitzer
The Devils’ managing partners have given a six-figure donation to RWJBarnabas Health’s Emergency Response Fund. That will aid in getting medical equipment to more than 35,000 employees working for the health system, which is based in Newark. They run Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, which donated 7,000 pairs of gloves, 10,000 packages of hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies used at Prudential Center to the cause. Harrison and Blitzer are also paying their Prudential Center staff while the NHL season is suspended after initially wanting to cut salaries by 20 percent. The duo has done the same for personnel of the 76ers, the NBA team they own.
Along with Patriots president and son Jonathan Kraft, the New England owner partnered with the state of Massachusetts to purchase 1.7 million N95 masks, costing $2 million, and gave 300,000 of the protective masks to New York-area hospitals. Kraft had his team plane pick them up in China and delivered them Friday.