Portland Timbers (MLS) and Portland Thorns FC (NWSL) ownership has unveiled a series of initiatives to assist those impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic, including a pledge to cover wages for game-day staff affected by match cancelations.
Here is the list of initiatives released by the team:
- Peregrine Sports has created and funded a Stand Together Assistance Fund to help part-time staff get through this uncertain time. This fund will assist fan experience staff and merchandise staff, among others, by paying them for games missed due to cancelation. Details of the fund will be communicated to affected staff next week.
- A monetary contribution to the Oregon Community Fund’s Oregon COVID-19 Pooled Fund.
- In partnership with Park Provisions, the donation of approximately 1,000 pounds of perishable food, bread, produce and other food items to Lift UP, a non-profit focused on reducing hunger for low-income residents of Northwest and Downtown Portland.
- Timber Joey to host virtual children’s reading sessions to homebound schoolkids every Tuesday and Thursday. The sessions will be aired on YouTube, the Stand Together Instagram Live feed and both clubs’ Facebook pages.
- Delivery of gratitude packages to Providence healthcare workers.
- Staff and their families to write notes and greeting cards to seniors who receive Meals on Wheels, and to healthcare workers to show our appreciation of their selfless efforts.
We’re seeing professional sports teams and facilities managers stepping up with plans to provide relief to game-day employees impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Toronto FC is part of the Team Toronto Fund designed to assist workers impacted by game cancelations; the Fund originators also include the Maple Leafs, Raptors, Blue Jays and Argonauts. In baseball, MLB teams are pledging at least a million dollars per team toward payment of game-day workers impacted by cancelations, and many arenas and sports teams have pledged to cover wages lost due to game cancelations. We’d expect to hear some sort of more robust effort from MLS like the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns initiative as we continue to navigate an unprecedented situation.
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Photo from the archives, courtesy Portland Thorns.