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MLB teams pledge $30 million to support gameday employees

This is a welcome development.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Gameday staff at ballparks are often the unsung, forgotten heroes of putting on the show that is Major League Baseball. We all come to see the stars on the field, but it’s the gameday concession workers, vendors, security staff, ushers and cleanup crew, among others, who help make the ballpark experience pleasant for everyone.

With no baseball for the foreseeable future, Major League Baseball teams have come together to help out these folks who will be out of work for weeks or even months, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan:

“Motivated by desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community, each club has committed $1 million,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement given to ESPN.

”The individual clubs will be announcing more details surrounding this support effort in their local communities. The timing of these announcements will vary because of the need to coordinate with state and local laws as well as collective-bargaining obligations in an effort to maximize the benefits realized by each group of employees. I am proud that our clubs came together so quickly and uniformly to support these individuals who provide so much to the game we love.”

This is a welcome gesture from all 30 teams and I’m sure will go greatly appreciated by the staffs at ballparks.

As you no doubt know, I spend a lot of time at Wrigley Field. As such, I have gotten to know a lot of the gameday staff there, many of whom have become personal friends. One of my friends who is a gameday worker at Wrigley told me:

This is a big part of my livelihood. I do have another job, but the season being delayed greatly impacts my income. While I understand why the league chose to do this, it does affect employees in more ways than just health/safety. For many this is their only source of income, or they are vendors who live off tips.

For my friend and all the other Wrigley gameday staff and similar folks who work for the other 29 teams, the announcement by Commissioner Manfred is welcome. Kudos to the MLB teams, and I look forward to seeing further details as announced by the league and by the Cubs.