The company will continue to review the state of the businesses approximately every 100 days because of the financial impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to the email.
“Many organizations are impacted by the covid-19 pandemic including the sports, entertainment and hospitality industries, which are among the hardest-hit," Monica Dixon, MSE chief administrative officer and president of external affairs, said in a statement. “Monumental Sports & Entertainment has been dramatically affected and will continue to be for an uncertain length of time. We have taken a number of steps to conserve our finances so that we can continue to fund our highest priority: our people.”
At this time, contract employees will not be impacted. The company told its employees that they are waiting for league direction, and it anticipates having discussions with individual contract employees at a later date. Since the NHL and the NBA put their seasons on hold in mid-March, MSE also enacted a hiring freeze, suspended annual staff increases and bonuses and suspended the 401(k) match.
The company believes its pay deductions are in line with decisions made by the NHL and the NBA to reduce the salaries of higher-compensated salaried employees. The NHL confirmed at the end of March that it was cutting non-contract employee salaries by 25 percent.
Both leagues are in the midst of evolving return-to-play plans, but none of the proposed plans involve games being played at home arenas or with fans present.
After considering many alternatives, MSE decided the pay deduction was the best option because it preserves jobs during this 100-day time frame. Ted Leonsis, the chairman of MSE, and his partners suspended their compensation entirely, and all members of the senior leadership team have taken a 20 percent salary reduction since April 19.
“While helpful, additional action was necessary to preserve the short- and long-term health of our company,” Dixon said. "This was an extremely difficult decision, but our continued goal is to protect as many jobs as possible during this unprecedented experience.”
In late March, MSE announced it was committed to paying its part-time employees for suspended games in April. MSE had committed to paying part-time staff for 15 scheduled games and events in March. There were five games scheduled in April.
In sum, 850 MSE part-time staff received payments totaling $1.2 million for the suspended games and events through the end of the NHL and NBA seasons.
Candace Buckner contributed to this report.