Game-day employees and members of the television crew in Buffalo and Rochester have been paid for canceled National Lacrosse League games, The News has confirmed. Payment was received in Friday’s paychecks.
The NLL regular season was postponed April 8 after the season was suspended March 13 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league has said it is hoping to have playoffs, although that is looking unlikely.
The Buffalo Bandits had three scheduled home games remaining at KeyBank Center, and the Knighthawks had five games remaining at Blue Cross Arena.
After initial criticism, Pegula Sports and Entertainment announced March 14 that game-day employees for the two lacrosse teams it owns and the Sabres would be paid for regular season cancellations.
Amid criticism for initially not declaring that it would pay game-day workers in Buffalo and Rochester even if there were no games, PSE said March 14 that it would pay for wages lost if the pro hockey and pro lacrosse seasons were canceled.
PSE has not disclosed the number of employees, but it is believed to be several hundred.
"Our gameday employees at the arenas in Buffalo and Rochester will be paid for any lost wages due to regular season game cancellations," Kim Pegula said in a statement. "They are part of our PSE family and even though we expect that the games will be played, we want to assure them they will be paid in the event that is not the case.”
Since that announcement, PSE laid off an undisclosed number of employees at its hospitality businesses with no guarantees that employees will be rehired. Two weeks ago, PSE laid off 21; furloughed 104; and temporarily cut pay for more than three dozen executives. Among the laid off were three long-serving vice presidents.
Because the NHL and AHL seasons have not been canceled, game-day employees have not been paid for the remaining six Sabres home games and remaining seven Rochester Amerks games at Blue Cross Arena, but would be compensated if those seasons were not resumed. PSE also owns the Sabres and Amerks.