76ers, Devils cut salaries, postpones employees to 4 days a week

The National Hockey League (NHL) New Jersey Devils logo appears in front of the team’s home arena, the Prudential Center, in Newark, New Jersey.

Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The financial impact of stopping sports begins to wane.

On Monday, employees of Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils were informed that they will receive temporary salary cuts of up to 20% from April 15 through June. The cuts initially affected only employees who earned more than $ 50,000, but the team changed them to $ 100,000 on Tuesday.

The Sixers and Devils are owned by Harris-Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, a group that includes Josh Harris, co-founder of the Apollo Investment Group, and David Blitzer, executive at Blackstone.

In response, 76ers Center Joel Embiid announced that it has decided to donate $ 500,000, part of which is intended to help team members who have had their salaries reduced.

In a statement, Scott O’Neil, CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment said that the decision was made to ensure that “we can support and operate our business in these uncertain times without reducing our workforce”.

As part of the changes, employees have also switched to a four-day working week and are asked to take online courses in their free time.

These temporary cuts don’t apply to players on the team, but to top-level executives.

The NBA announced on March 11 that it had suspended the season due to COVID-19, and the NHL announced its decision a day later. No decision was made for a return flight date for either league.

The managing partners of Devils, Harris and Blitzer were among the first NHL owners to publicly commit to paying part-time workers for all postponed or canceled games and concerts until the end of the regular season. The Newark Prudential Center, where the Devils play, hosts over 175 live events each year.

O’Neil said the organization was determined to play an ongoing role in funding efforts to help the most affected residents in their hometowns.

The group bought the Devils in 2013 for $ 320 million. The team is now valued at $ 550 million, according to Forbes.

The 76s were bought in 2013 for $ 280 million. The team is now worth more than $ 2 billion.

Also on Tuesday, Group CH, which owns the Montreal Canadians, announced that 60% of the organization’s workforce will be temporarily cut off as of March 30. An aid fund enables workers to receive 80% of their basic salary for a period of eight weeks and loans are made available to those who need them.

“This decision was necessary given the significant impact of the pandemic on the sports and entertainment industry,” said Geoff Molson, owner, president and CEO of Groupe CH, in a statement.

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