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Carolina Hurricanes to compensate PNC Arena part-time workers during NHL pause

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The Hurricanes will help arena staff make ends meet while the NHL season is suspended.

Jamie Kellner

It took a couple of days to iron out the details, but the Carolina Hurricanes are indeed doing the right thing.

The team announced on Tuesday that they would be compensating PNC Arena part-time staff for missed shifts in March due to the NHL pausing the season in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. According to the team, staff will be compensated “based on expected workload” for the duration of March. Compensation will be provided by Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon, the Carolina Hurricanes Foundation, and from Hurricanes players who have pooled together to donate to the cause.

“Our part-time event staff are a vital part of the gameday experience at PNC Arena,” Hurricanes president and GM Don Waddell said in a statement. “We know that the season being paused has created a lot of uncertainty, so Tom, the players and the Foundation have stepped up to help these employees through this unprecedented situation.”

In addition, the arena’s food service provider, VAB Catering, will make a donation to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Thursday at 10:00. Waddell said earlier this week on the Canes Cast that the arena has more than $300,000 in unused food for events postponed or cancelled, and that unused food will be donated to the Food Shuttle.

Part-time staffers at PNC Arena are employed by Gale Force Sports and Entertainment, the management company operated by the Hurricanes that operates and manages the arena. The staff includes ushers, media and locker room attendants, some concession workers, security staff, ticket takers and members of the ice crew.

The announcement made reference to the seven home games that have either been missed or will be missed by the end of March. There is one additional home game on April 3 that was not mentioned in the release, which is included below.

CANES TO COMPENSATE EVENT STAFF FOR LOST WAGES
PNC Arena to make food donation to Inter-Faith Food Shuttle on Thursday

Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team will compensate PNC Arena and Hurricanes event staff for lost wages due to the 2019-20 NHL season being paused because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Hourly staff will be compensated based on expected workload during the team’s final seven March regular-season home games.

Funding will come from Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon and the Carolina Hurricanes Foundation. In addition, Hurricanes players have made a generous donation to help supplement the incomes of the event staff employees, understanding that many may be losing from other sources during this time.

“Our part-time event staff are a vital part of the gameday experience at PNC Arena,” Waddell said. “We know that the season being paused has created a lot of uncertainty, so Tom, the players and the Foundation have stepped up to help these employees through this unprecedented situation.”

On Thursday at 10 a.m., PNC Arena’s food service, VAB Catering, will make a large food donation to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. The Raleigh-based non-profit is currently focused on providing emergency food to families affected by the Coronavirus crisis.

The NHL paused the 2019-20 season on March 12 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Tuesday morning, the league announced that players and traveling hockey staff should continue to self-quarantine through at least March 27, either in their NHL cities or hometowns. Team facilities are closed during the quarantine period, though consideration will be given to allowing clubs to re-open them to players after March 27, depending upon world developments. The Hurricanes medical staff will continue to monitor all players and staff, but no player, team staff member or arena employee have exhibited any signs of COVID-19 at this time.