Senators developing program to help staff avoid financial hardship

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The Ottawa Senators are the latest professional sports franchise to step up in support of part-time arena staff.

The club announced Monday that it is developing a program to help employees avoid financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will be working with every individual and evaluating every individual need to minimize the impact on those employees,” the statement read. “We are continuing to do everything we can to help ensure our staff remain safe and healthy during this time of uncertainty due to the spread of the coronavirus, including asking staff to work from home until further notice.

“Capital Sports and Entertainment staff have continued to show grit and determination throughout this challenging time and thank them for their dedication in the face of extraordinary challenges.”

The Senators had three more home games scheduled at the Canadian Tire Centre in March to go along with another in April. Two concerts have been cancelled or postponed, while a visit from the Harlem Globetrotters was also scrubbed.

The Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers laid out their plans Saturday following announcements from the Toronto Maple Leafs — under the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment banner with the NBA’s Raptors and Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC — and the Vancouver Canucks on Friday.

On Sunday, the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames also announced plans to financially support their part-time staff.

The Leafs, Raptors, TFC, MLB’s Blue Jays and the CFL’s Argonauts have also created the "Team Toronto Fund" designed to further assist arena, stadium and support staff should they be in need of extra financial assistance due to the outbreak.

With files from The Canadian Press

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