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Colorado Avalanche ownership group pledges to pay part-time employees

Kroenke Sports and Entertainment to pay employees for the next 30 days.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Colorado Avalanche Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

After a few days of uncertainty, part-time employees at the Pepsi Center were given some good news late Saturday night. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment - the ownership group behind the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets, among others - announced it will pay its part-time and hourly employees impacted by the cancellations due to the COVID-19 outbreak for the next 30 days.

The company also is calling on its vendors and partners to do the same.

Despite the building being shut down for the next month, employees will get paid for the events they were scheduled to work at the Pepsi Center - that includes all missed games and concerts.

“It is a very trying time for our tight-knit sports community, but more importantly for human beings in general,” KSE Vice Chairman Josh Kroenke said in a statement Saturday night.

While KSE is set to potentially lose a large chunk of their season revenue from the leagues shutting down, the impact on their employees can have far worse ramifications. Without the pay for these events, many in the Denver area could be in a very dire financial situation. It’s the right thing to do as these are the people who make Avalanche and Nuggets games possible.

Kroenke Sports and Entertainment has also said that they will work with local vendors and food recovery programs to help distribute food in an effort to make things easier on the people of Denver during this uncertain time.

Along with the Pepsi Center, the pledge to pay employees also includes other KSE owned properties such as Paramount Theater, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park - home of the Colorado Rapids - and the 1STBANK Center.

Here is the full press release from KSE Vice-Chairman Josh Kroenke:

As medical experts, public health agencies, and government officials around the world work tirelessly to better understand and stem the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) is joining the fight to bring greater awareness to the situation by working with government agencies, medical experts, and grassroots organizations. KSE is one of the world’s leading sports and entertainment companies with thousands of full and part-time employees impacted by COVID-19. KSE is working nonstop to ensure all employees are safe and educated on all aspects of the pandemic.

Denver is an incredibly resilient city. We have met tragedies and uncertainty head-on many times before, and we are doing so again now. The impact COVID-19 is having on our health and business communities is unprecedented. We are not health experts. However, we are business and community leaders, and we all have a role to play in helping one another. Please take this threat very seriously for the benefit of yourself and your loved ones, and please regularly check CDC and WHO websites for updates and greater information.

The threat of COVID-19 has led to the temporary suspension of all major sports leagues across North America and Europe. In addition, KSE has suspended all events at Pepsi Center, Paramount Theatre, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and 1STBANK Center for 30 days.

One of the many consequences of the pandemic is its effect on area businesses of all sizes. Many companies – in particular the service industry – are temporarily laying off hard-working employees due to the cancellation of events amid an uncertain future. Our hourly KSE event staff plays an integral role in ensuring our fan experience is first class in every way, and it is with these thoughts in mind that KSE will continue to pay its part-time and hourly employees for the next 30 days. We also have asked our vendors and partners to do the same.

Given the current state of grocery stores and need for food worldwide, KSE and its vendors are also proud and long-time partners with area agencies who are leading the charge to assist the community with hunger. KSE continues to work with the local food recovery program, We Don’t Waste, to provide food for those in need and, yesterday with our partners, donated six pallets of food that would have perished given the recent event suspensions at our numerous venues.

It is a very trying time for our tight-knit sports community, but more importantly for human beings in general. My father and I have personally had many conversations with coaches, players, executives, and support staff from our teams and clubs around the world, and it is inspiring to hear the determination to not only get through this difficult period but also to help and motivate others while doing so. From all of us here at KSE and on behalf of my family, please stay smart, stay safe, and support one another. We look forward to seeing all of our fans back in our venues at the appropriate time!