Orlando Magic Owner Dan DeVos Pledges $2M for Employees Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIMarch 16, 2020

LAKELAND, FL - DECEMBER 14:  Dan DeVos, Orlando Magic D-League Chairman helps announce that the Magic have agreed to purchase the Erie BayHawks and will to relocate the team to Lakeland, Florida, to begin play during the 2017-18 season on December 14, 2016 at The Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE  (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Fernando Medina/Getty Images

Orlando Magic owner Dan DeVos has pledged up to $2 million to a compensation fund to pay hourly team and arena employees who will miss time because of the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

The team confirmed the news in a statement on Twitter:

The NBA announced the season would be suspended "until further notice" on Thursday after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.

DeVos is not the first owner to pledge financial assistance to help arena staff members.

Mark Cuban at the Dallas Mavericks announced Wednesday his plan to help employees who would not be able to come to work, as shown by ESPN:

The Cleveland Cavaliers have also announced a "compensation plan" to allow them to keep paying staff, while Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler will also help employees, per Ben Ladner at Sports Illustrated.

NBA players have also offered financial assistance, including Magic center Mo Bamba.

He hinted Saturday that he would be willing to help cover workers' expenses during the shutdown:

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Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo announced on Twitter March 13 he has pledged $100,000 to help out Fiserv Forum staff who "make my life, my family's lives and my teammates lives easier."

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love has pledged the same amount for employees at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, while New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson will cover the salaries of Smoothie King Center workers for 30 days. 

The future of the NBA season remains uncertain with clubs "bracing for the possibility of mid-to-late June as a best-case scenario" regarding a return to action, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski