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Phoenix Suns to pay employees during NBA season suspension

Owner Robert Sarver of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the second half the NBA game against the Sacramento Kings at Talking Stick Resort Arena on January 07, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Kings defeated the Suns 114-103. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns will pay employees for canceled events and missed games during the NBA’s suspension in game play due to the coronavirus pandemic, Suns owner Robert Sarver told Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro.

The impact of the season’s suspension trickles down to team employees who were at risk of lost wages for the events that have been rescheduled or canceled.

The Suns will pay full-time and part-time employees alike for games and events missed that were scheduled to take place at Talking Stick Resort Arena, including Disney on Ice that was scheduled for March 11.

Games will be suspended at least 30 days, the NBA announced, due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Two NBA players, both on the Utah Jazz, have tested positive for the virus as of Friday afternoon. Center Rudy Gobert’s test came back positive shortly before tipoff Wednesday, leading to the suspension of the NBA. Teammate Donovan Mitchell later tested positive as well.

Since Gobert’s positive test result, the sports world has come to a halt. Major League Baseball announced a delay to the start of its season and the NHL has paused its season. March Madness was cancelled, as was the Pac-12 Tournament. The NFL announced that teams would not be allowed to meet draft prospects in person and, most recently, The Masters was postponed.

The Suns aren’t the first team to announce a plan to pay employees during game and event stoppage. NBA teams including the Dallas Mavericks, Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers have said they will do the same.

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