Bridgestone Arena to pay employees despite temporary league shutdown

Following the lead of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Nashville Predators President and CEO Sean Henry said Thursday that Bridgestone Arena employees will still be paid for some of the games and events they won’t get to work due to the National Hockey League’s suspended season.

“(Their jobs are) something they all rely on,” Henry said. “Without events, they’re all going to be hurting. So, what we made the decision to do — at least through the weekend, the scheduled event of the SEC — any confirmed shifts they had from a part-time standpoint, we’re going to pay them for those shifts.”

On Thursday, the NHL released a statement that it would temporarily shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Predators have 13 games remaining in the regular season, including six more home games at Bridgestone Arena.

Henry stated the team would pay its hourly and part-time in-arena workers for the entirety of the SEC tournament, which was scheduled to be played from Wednesday through Sunday. Henry is also exploring avenues to pay the workers for at least the remaining four home games in the month of March before shifting gears into assessing April.

“We’ll look at the rest of the remaining month going into April for what events will be missed as well and try to build a plan or a program to try and do the same thing throughout that,” he said.

Henry mentioned the value of the Bridgestone Arena event staff could not be understated as they helped set the atmosphere not just for Predators home games but all events that take place at the arena.

In addition to four more home games in March, arena staffers were also scheduled to work four other events in the coming days: Preds & Threads on March 17, a 2020 college basketball tournament watch party and Jeff Dunham concert on March 19, Nick Cannon’s MTV Wild N’ Out on March 25 and a Billie Eilish concert on March 27.

“Our event staff are the people who make us what we are,” Henry said. “We’re given a lot of accolades for being the best sports team in all of sports, the most fun atmosphere, and all of those great things we are because of the people who choose to work here.”

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