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Rays pledge $1 million to help cover ballpark employees' lost wages

The Rays established a $1 million fund to help Tropicana Field gameday staff who won’t be working after the MLB pushed its season back.
Credit: AP
Worker replace the infield dirt at Tropicana Field Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla., before the start of the 2016 Tampa Bay Rays season. Rays pitchers and catcher report for spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Feb. 18. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays stepped up to the plate to help employees impacted by MLB’s postponed schedule.

The Rays established a $1 million fund to help Tropicana Field gameday staff who won’t be working after the MLB pushed its season back to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus.

“Our gameday staff are the familiar faces that our fans know and love,” Rays President Brian Auld said.

“They are part of the fabric of the ballpark experience at Tropicana Field, and they are an essential part of our operations. We are proud that all 30 Major League Baseball clubs have made this commitment to their gameday employees.”

The Rays announcement came after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said all 30 clubs would make a similar contribution for their own gameday personnel.

On Tuesday, the teams pledged $30 million combined to cover lost wages for ballpark employees who will not be paid during baseball's absence.

Spring training has been suspended and most MLB front office members have traveled home from Florida and Arizona already. Players were given the option to either stay in the city where they have spring training, travel home or head to the home city for the club they play for.

On Monday, Manfred completely shut down spring training facilities due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

NBA players and owners have committed money as well to cover workers who will be out of a job during the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the uncertainty of the coronavirus outbreak and how long postponements may last, MLB could push back Opening Day even further back than its current mid-May dates.

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