ARIZONA COYOTES

Coyotes to pay employees during NHL’s coronavirus hiatus

Mar 16, 2020, 10:02 AM | Updated: 1:57 pm

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images )...

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images )

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images )

The Arizona Coyotes said Monday that owner Alex Meruelo and Gila River Arena have partnered to pay employees affected by the suspension of NHL games due to the coronavirus outbreak.

A press release said the team and arena will “support the arena’s part-time and hourly employees previously scheduled to work” the remaining home games, “support all club part-time and hourly employees” and “pay all Tucson Roadrunners part-time employees.”

It wasn’t immediately clear to what extent the employees will have their lost income reimbursed, but a team spokesperson told Arizona Sports that the support for the missed games would be significant. The Coyotes had eight games remaining among 12 total in their regular season before the NHL paused its season on Thursday because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s not clear when the season will resume, or if the rest of the regular season will even be played. The Centers for Disease Control on Sunday recommended the cancellation or postponement of gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks.

“We pride ourselves on treating all our staff and players like they are part of our family,” Meruelo said in a statement. “I value my team members and am committed to making sure that everyone remains safe, secure and part of our great team.

“We are going through a difficult time right now and how we respond to this challenge will define us. Through our resiliency and our ongoing commitment to our team members, we will emerge from this challenge stronger and more unified.”

The statement said Meruelo is committed to the Valley community and is working to identify support and service opportunities throughout Arizona.

“We value all of our employees as they are the heart and soul of this venue,” Gila River Arena GM Dale Adams said in a statement. “They are committed to delivering amazing guest experiences to our fans and we are equally committed to them.”

Arizona Coyotes

Utah Hockey Club rally...

Associated Press

Utah Hockey Club to debut Oct. 8 vs. Chicago

The Utah Hockey Club will play its first regular-season game Oct. 8 against Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks.

17 days ago

Mikhail Sergachev...

Arizona Sports

Utah Hockey Club makes major splash by trading for defensemen Sergachev, Marino

Utah Hockey Club general manager Bill Armstrong made two significant trades on the second day of the NHL Draft.

19 days ago

Detail of the Arizona Coyotes logo during the NHL game against the Vegas Golden Knights at Gila Riv...

Arizona Sports

Arizona Coyotes relinquish branding, naming rights back to NHL

Part of former Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo stepping away from the franchise incudes him relinquishing the brand rights to the NHL.

23 days ago

Fans hold up signs before the NHL game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Arizona Coyotes at Mulle...

Dan Bickley

Arizona Coyotes will return, prove how inept Alex Meruelo truly was

Alex Meruelo will be remembered as one of the worst owners in Arizona sports history after his failures with the Arizona Coyotes.

23 days ago

Jeremy Roenick speaking at Arizona Coyotes podium...

Payne Moses

Former Coyote Jeremy Roenick among 7 additions to Hockey Hall of Fame

Jeremey Roenick's joins seven others in the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2024, ending his 12-year wait since first becoming eligible for induction.

23 days ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: In a league full of skates, Alex Meruelo was the cheapest of them all

Dan Bickley reacts to news that Alex Meruelo is stepping away from his ownership of the Arizona Coyotes.

23 days ago

Coyotes to pay employees during NHL’s coronavirus hiatus