The logo for the National Hockey League’s (NHL) New Jersey Devils is displayed outside the team’s home arena, the Prudential Center, in Newark, New Jersey.
Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The financial impact of a sports shutdown is starting to trickle down.
On Monday, Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils’ employees were informed that they would be receiving temporary salary reductions of up to 20% starting April 15 and going through the end of June. The cuts apply only to employees making more than $50,000 and includes employees in the front office.
The Sixers and Devils are both owned by Harris-Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, an ownership group that includes Josh Harris, co-founder of Apollo Investment Group and David Blitzer, an executive at Blackstone.
In a statement, Scott O’Neil, CEO of Harris Blitizer Sports & Entertainment said the decision was made to ensure “we can support and operate our businesses during these uncertain times without reducing our workforce…”
As part of the changes, employees have also moved to a four-day work week and are being encouraged to take online classes during the time off.
These temporary cuts do not apply to players on the team but, do apply to executives at the highest levels.
The NBA announced on March 11 that it suspended the current season due to COVID-19. No decision on a return date has been made.
Devils managing partners Harris and Blitzer were among the first NHL owners to publicly commit to paying part-time workers for any postponed or canceled games and concerts through the end of the regular season. The Prudential Center, where the Devils play, hosts over 175 live events each year.
O’Neil said the organization is committed to playing an ongoing role in the funding efforts to help the most impacted residents in their home cities.
The Devils were purchased by the group in 2013 for $320 million. The team is now valued at $550 million according to Forbes.
The 76ers were purchased for a reported $280 million in 2013. The team is now worth more than $2 billion.