Citing continued adverse business conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ducks on Tuesday announced furloughs for employees of the hockey team and employees of other businesses owned and/or operated by club owners Henry and Susan Samueli.
The furloughs will affect less than 15% of the full-time employees across the Ducks, Anaheim Arena Management, ocV!BE, The Rinks and H&S Ventures. Those furloughed will get a discretionary payment and will retain their medical benefits.
“The enormous social, emotional and financial impacts of the coronavirus have impacted us all, and the sports and entertainment industry continues to be severely affected,” the organization said in a statement released by the Ducks.
“Due to the ongoing uncertainty and its unknown duration, today we felt it necessary to make a number of very difficult staffing decisions across our business units. For nearly three decades, we have been proud to serve as a symbol of excellence with our employees and players actively taking the role of standard-bearers in the industry, and it’s what makes a day like today so truly heartbreaking. An overwhelming majority of today’s reductions were in the form of furloughs, and so it is with expectant anticipation that upon moving beyond this terrible pandemic we will have the opportunity to welcome back most of our highly valued team members.”
The Ducks have not played since March 11, the day before the NHL paused its season because of the spread of COVID-19. They didn’t qualify for the expanded playoff field when the league resumed play over the summer, and it remains unclear when the 2020-21 season will begin. The NHL and the NHL Players’ Assn. have been negotiating terms of a return to play, with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman asking players to make financial concessions beyond their previous agreement to defer 10% of their salary.
In addition to the absence of hockey, the pandemic has made it impossible to hold concerts or other events at Honda Center, which is owned by the city of Anaheim but is managed by the Samuelis’ Anaheim Arena Management.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.