Penguins, worth $ 650 million, received $ 4.82 million COVID loan
There are 123 teams among the four major North American men’s sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL).
Only one of them received a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program.
That team is the Pittsburgh Penguins, who received a loan of $ 4.82 million under the program authorized by the CARES Act.
According to the Small Business Administration website, “The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to directly incent small businesses to keep their employees on the payroll.
La Poste contacted the Penguins, which have a valuation of $ 650 million according to Forbes, and which are owned by Groupe Lemieux SEC, with Mario Lemieux co-owner / president and Ron Burkle co-owner, about their loan application.
The organization responded immediately.
“Our arena having been closed since March and with no income related to the event, we have asked our owner, the Sports & Exhibition Authority (SEA), to consider a temporary deferral of our annual rent payment due in September. This request was refused, ”replied the Penguins.
“As a result, we borrowed $ 4.8 million under the CARES Act program in mid-August and applied the funds to our September rent payment of $ 6.1 million to SEA, which been used by the public agency to make the required deposit payment.
“SEA has indicated that it is facing similar financial difficulties due to the closure of the SEA-owned convention center, and we are pleased that these funds have been used to support an important public agency during these difficult times.”
The Penguins put 40 employees on leave throughout the summer, while retaining all of their health benefits.
“Our holidays were in effect from June to September,” the organization said. “We brought in staff on September 1 to prepare for next season.”
In independent news, Burkle – whose net worth is estimated at $ 1.4 billion by Forbes – recently bought Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., For $ 22 million.
I’m not about to substitute my judgment for those much better acquainted with the coronavirus who have deigned to have the NHL operate safely from its home towns during the 2020-2021 season, which is scheduled to begin on January 13. .
But it’s counterintuitive, isn’t it, that the NHL fell into obscurity in the spring and early summer, and then only resumed play in two hermetically sealed bubbles in Canada, but that she is now ready to get through a winter where infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths typically occur at a higher rate than when the league deems it dangerous to play?
Health agencies across the continent have given the NHL plan their blessing, so it’s not like Gary Bettman is running an outlaw operation here. Indeed, the commissioner was eminently responsible during the pandemic.
And I don’t blame the league. I don’t blame the players. I don’t blame anyone. I don’t think this represents a drain on money. I think the effort to play 2020-2021 is all about keeping the company viable and saving jobs, not necessarily for those in uniform, but for those in supportive positions in the industry.
But the league and those invested in it should be prepared for a bumpy race. This is once neither the NHL nor the NHLPA is in control. Control has been ceded to the virus. Control has been ceded to government health agencies.
Teams may have to, at least temporarily, have to leave their home bases if they are deemed unsafe for play by officials, as the Sharks have been forced to move to Arizona for training camp, which begins Thursday, and the start. of the regular season. There could be postponements. And there may be games in which a team must play with reduced capacity due to COVID-19 protocols passed last week. The hockey world needs to be prepared for the same touches of chaos that hit baseball and football and are now creeping into basketball. More likely than not, uncertainty will become a key element of the 2020-2021 season.
The players took risks here. It’s understood. But demographics suggest that the athlete population – with the exception of those with underlying illnesses – is among the least vulnerable. In fact, anecdotal information from industry sources indicates that a fairly significant number of players contracted the virus during the offseason but recovered without ever showing any symptoms. Maybe that means more players get immunity as the season enters.
There is only one certainty as the 2020-2021 season approaches, and that is uncertainty. The more the hockey world understands and accepts this reality, the better.
I understand that the promotional videos and companion announcements on NHL.com accompanying the helmet logo offer announcements are part of more comprehensive sponsorship agreements.
But, sorry, replacing a team logo with that of a bank is hardly worthy of the celebration granted by capitals.
There was a time in my life as Vice President of Communications and Advertising for Demons where I was responsible for selling sponsorship programs. So I get all the bells and whistles. But there is no reason to flaunt it.
Besides. As part of my job, I also wrote copies for print advertisements. In 1985, we were preparing to run a series of newspaper advertisements for the coming season.
My slogan was: “Devils Hockey, you won’t have to wait 45 years.”
Unfortunately, team owner John McMullen put the kibosh on it. Why? Well, because the Devils owed the Rangers a large sum under an oppressive land rights deal allowing the move from Colorado to New Jersey, and had flatly refused to pay it.
I was advised – no, instructed – not to push the bear.