EDMONTON, AB - Since the National Hockey League (NHL) announced the pause of the 2019-20 season due to the COVID-19 virus, we have been working hard to gather information and assess what this means for our fans, our staff, our players, our organization and our community. Our action plan for the pause and being prepared for the return of hockey is a complicated undertaking and getting it right is a priority.
We fully support the NHL's decision as it reaffirms our collective commitment to public health and doing the right thing. We will continue to follow protocols as laid out by the NHL and will continue to work in close consultation with health and government officials as we map a path forward.
The health and safety of our employees, players and fans continues to be our top priority. Our employees have shown resilience, professionalism and understanding as we work through these challenging times. Developing our People and being an exceptional place to work is a Core Value at OEG. In times like this, we all need to stick together. Our Company, our City and across Oil Country.
"The pause of NHL hockey, concerts and events at Rogers Place has hit everyone hard, but it has created an even more difficult situation for our nearly 1,650 part-time staff. As a result, we are rolling out an assistance program to ensure their well-being is protected," said OEG President of Business Operations & Chief Operating Officer Tom Anselmi. "All part-time staff affected by a temporary halt in our operations will receive financial payment to bridge them between their maximum EI benefits and their regular average earnings for remaining regular season games."
We will also continue our Food Program, and any excess food and beverage inventory from Rogers Place that is perishable will be donated to Edmonton's Food Bank.
We will continue to provide updates as information from the NHL and other partners is made available and our go forward plan evolves to address this very fluid situation.