Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is urging Delaware North, owner of TD Garden, to support its gameday employees while the NBA and NHL are suspended amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“These workers, they’re going to be hurting,” Healey told Boston.com in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon. “They’re going to have trouble paying rent, buying groceries, and all sorts of things. Delaware North, the Jacobs family, they need to step up here like other NHL teams have, like other owners have, and just find a way to get workers some relief.”
Both Delaware North and the Bruins are owned by the Jacobs family. Billionaire Jeremy Jacobs, who turned 80 years old in January, recently signed over the NHL franchise to his six children.
There has been no word from the group about a potential plan to support arena workers, the vast majority of which are part-time. TD Garden employees include ushers and concessionaires, among other positions, while Securitas USA provides the Garden’s security staff and Boston-based UG2 provides cleaners.
Healey said her office received a phone call from a TD Garden employee who is concerned about becoming homeless as a result of the stoppage in games and events. Healey said she has not yet personally reached out to the Jacobs family, but she is calling on them to take action.
“I understand,” Healey said. “They’ve had their own events canceled and they run the Garden. There’s going to be hurt all around with this for business large and small. But, for Delaware North, it’s a billion-dollar business. The risk, the hurt right now shouldn’t be on these really vulnerable workers. There’s a way to help them, and I hope that’s what they do.”
The 30 other NHL teams have publicly shared their commitment to ensuring gameday employees will receive some level of compensation.
Healey highlighted the efforts of the Celtics, who share a building with the Bruins and will be paying their gameday employees through the end of the regular season. That group includes locker room attendants, the official scoring and statistic staffs, media room attendants, game-night performers, and ball boys.
Healey also commended the individual Bruins players who have contributed to a GoFundMe that was set up for Garden employees.
Still, she is waiting to see what action, if any, ownership takes.
“I hope they do something for these workers,” Healey said.
The attorney general’s office has received hundreds of calls from people who are now out of work. Healey encourages anybody with an employment issue to call her offices’ hotline at (617)-727-3465.
“We just want workers to know we’re here to support them,” she said.