By Dorothy J. Gentry
It’s been a short period of time since a positive COVID-19 test by one of its players led the NBA to suspend the remainder of its season, affecting not only all 30 teams but the arenas they play in and the workers and staff as well.
In that time, the Dallas Mavericks have put together two separate plans to help support those most affected.
The organization, along with American Airlines Center leadership, is currently making arrangements to ensure that scheduled event staff will receive payment for the six home games that were to take place during the 30-day NBA hiatus. Mavericks jersey sponsor, Chime, has also allocated funds to support this effort.
“In light of the postponement of the NBA season, it is of utmost importance to Dallas Mavericks management and ownership that we do what we can to minimize the adverse financial impact that will be felt by staff who would otherwise be working our games at American Airlines Center,” team officials said in a statement.
Staff who will be compensated include security, police, parking attendants, housekeeping, in-arena entertainers and guest services staff, among others. “It is our hope that this will allow our valued team members to satisfy their economic needs during this unprecedented time,” the statement continued.
In addition, the Mavs are working with several of its current nonprofit partners to identify support and service opportunities throughout North Texas for employees to gain volunteer hours.
Supporting Local Businesses
The Mavs have also announced that it will provide full reimbursement to employees for breakfast or lunch purchases made from independent local establishments in the region.
“At a time when people may feel the financial strain of business closures, social distancing and more, supporting our local community is even more important,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban said. “While encouraging my team to take care of themselves and those around them and to use healthy practices, I also encourage them to support our local North Texas businesses, and I am happy to partner with Dallas Mavericks staff to do so.”
The reimbursement plan will be offered to employees of both the Dallas Mavericks and Mark Cuban Companies. It will include purchases made from all small, local and independent establishments.
Cuban added that while employees are strongly encouraged to take part in the program, they are asked to not go out should they be feeling any symptoms of illness. “Takeout or delivery will gladly be reimbursed as well,” he said.
Since the season was suspended on Wednesday, March 11, three NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19: Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz and Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons, whose positive test was announced on March 14.
The NBA is not expected to resume play until, at the minimum, 30 days.