Red Sox to Increase Money Pool for Hourly Workers by $500K amid COVID-19

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2020

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 19: A view outside of Fenway Park on March 19, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. The NBA, NHL, NCAA and MLB have all announced cancellations or postponements of events because of the COVID-19.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox added $500,000 to their pool for hourly employees unable to work during postponed games, bringing the total to $1.5 million, according to the Boston Herald's Jason Mastrodonato.

Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy announced March 17 the team pledged $1 million for workers at Fenway Park and JetBlue Park, their spring training home in Fort Myers, Florida, after the COVID-19 pandemic halted the MLB season:

Red Sox @RedSox

The #RedSox have committed $1 million intended to support part-time and seasonal workers at Fenway Park and JetBlue Park affected by the suspension of the baseball season. https://t.co/OKB0LZ0uEF

Mastrodonato noted the increase will allow workers from third-party vendors such as Aramark, which staffs concession stands, to be paid as well.

Thursday was originally scheduled as Opening Day across MLB. However, the league announced March 12 that spring training was canceled and the regular season was suspended indefinitely to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported MLB and the MLB Players Association reached an agreement to outline the stipulations necessary to start the season.

Medical experts will need to conclude fans and team personnel won't be at risk, while playing in empty stadiums remains a possibility. Officials also need to relax restrictions on mass gatherings and the ability to travel throughout Canada and the United States.

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, MLB is still targeting late May as the best-case scenario for the new Opening Day. Under that timetable, the season would last about 140 games and extend into mid-October.

Along with the changes to the regular season, Heyman reported the playoffs could expand from 10 to 14 teams for 2020.