Jeremy Jacobs

Bruins reportedly among NHL teams interested in being regional host if season resumes

Bruins reportedly among NHL teams interested in being regional host if season resumes

IF, and it is a big if, of course, there is a resumption of the NHL season, the Boston Bruins would like to host games at an all-but-empty TD Garden, according to the Boston Globe,

Hall of Fame hockey writer Kevin Paul Dupont of the Globe reports that a league source confirms Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, who also serves as the NHL's chairman of its board of governors, has expressed interest in having the Garden be one of four regional sites the league chooses for games if the regular season and playoffs, paused like the rest of sports by concerns over the coronavirus, i.e., COVID-19, are salvaged. 

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Twenty other NHL teams are also interested, Dupont reports. With Boston now considered a hotspot for COVID-19 cases, the Garden as a venue to host multiple teams for whatever format the resumption of the season and playoffs takes would likely be a long shot. 

Multiple reports have pegged July as the month the NHL target for an attempt to re-start the season while leaving the league to start the 2020-21 regular season sometime in November with an 82-game season still expected for the 2020-21 season.

With four cities as regional hosts for games, the likely scenario calls for each to host its own division for games. The Bruins, who had the most points in the NHL when the season was shut down, would host the Atlantic Division, for example, with players, officials and support staff quarantined at nearby hotels with strict testing and other restrictions. 

On a virtual town hall event with B's season ticket holders on Thursday, Bruins team president Cam Neely said "the players and NHL ownership want to do whatever possible to get this season completed. If that means playing into the summer then we’re all willing to do that. The feeling is there’s an opportunity to be able to push next season back and still get an 82-game schedule in next year. Everything is on the table to try and get the [2019-20] season completed." 

Jacobs, the billionaire who owns Delaware North, the parent company of the Bruins, has drawn the ire of some observers, including Massachusetts General Maura Healy, for the company's reluctance to pay its game-day and other Garden employees with the venue shut down as the coronavirus crisis continues. 


Delaware North layoffs, cuts not likely to sit well with Bruins fans

Delaware North layoffs, cuts not likely to sit well with Bruins fans

It’s been a bad couple of weeks for the Boston Bruins — and more importantly, it’s been even worse for their employees.

First, the Bruins were lambasted by the Massachusetts Attorney General for being the last team in the NHL to account for any kind of financial assistance for their TD Garden and Bruins employees once the regular season was put on pause by the coronavirus.

Now, Delaware North — the parent company for both TD Garden and the Bruins — is among the first NHL teams to announce sweeping layoffs and cuts to arena and hockey club employees on their payroll.

Delaware North announced that as of April 1, 2020, 68 of their full-time salaried associates will be placed on temporary leave, receiving one week of paid leave and eight weeks of full benefits.

Additionally, as of April 1, 82 of their full-time salaried associates will receive an indefinite salary reduction, while contracted employees obviously were not impacted.

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It’s perhaps easier to say this when it’s not your own money, but there is no defending that kind of move with so many Americans headed for financial peril due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Delaware North released a brief statement addressing the cuts: “As relayed to our associates today, none of these decisions were reached without difficult and painful deliberations. These measures are intended to be temporary with associate employment and compensation returning once our business resumes to its normal state from this unprecedented stoppage.”

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs' net worth has been pinned anywhere from $3-3.75 billion as the head of a Delaware North concessions and service giant that announced company-wide layoffs and reductions on Wednesday as well. Clearly, the business takes a massive hit with no concerts, sporting events or big gatherings happening all this month, next month and perhaps well beyond that due to the social distancing required to combat COVID-19.

Still, the Jacobs family is going to put themselves in the crosshairs for deserved criticism after the New Jersey Devils/Philadelphia 76ers owners were savaged just a couple of days ago for prompting the same kind of cost-cutting measures.

Let’s be honest here.

Jacobs has never been a very popular owner in Boston and was viewed as an NHL Governor unwilling to spend the money needed for his hockey team prior to the NHL instituting a salary cap after the 2003-04 season. This kind of stone-cold business move in the face of nationwide financial stress is going to further disenchant the Boston fan base from the people running the show on Causeway Street.

Maybe this is the only way it could go for Delaware North amidst an unprecedented work stoppage and economic downturn in this country, but they really haven’t done anything over the last few weeks to deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Perhaps things can return to normal once the coronavirus has come and gone and business gets back to normal at TD Garden, but the owners are doing something — and doing it in a way — that isn’t going to sit well with the fans they count on to fill their seats.

TD Garden part-time workers officially laid off

TD Garden part-time workers officially laid off

TD Garden workers waiting for some financial relief and the resumption of events at the venue amid the coronavirus crisis were officially laid off on Tuesday.

Part-time Garden workers received the news in an afternoon email, according to the Boston Globe.

In a statement to the Globe, a spokesman for the Garden and Boston Bruins said: 

“The unprecedented reality of the COVID-19 crisis and its impact to our business unfortunately resulted in us placing some of our Bruins and TD Garden full-time hourly associates on temporary leave today. This decision was difficult, and we hope this situation is temporary.”

The layoffs come three days after the Jacobs family, owners of Delaware North, the parent company of the Garden and Bruins, announced that a $1.5 million fund had been set up to help compensate part-time game-day employees. That fund wouldn't go into effect until Bruins games were officially canceled by the NHL, though.

The Bruins were the last NHL team to announce a plan to aid their part-time workers. Delaware North chairman Jeremy Jacobs, 80, has an estimated net worth of $3.6 billion. 

A GoFundMe campaign was set up in the days after the major sports' shutdowns to help the Garden's part-time workers. It included contributions from several Bruins players. Through Tuesday night, it had raised more than $41,000. 

The emailed letter to workers obtained by the Globe read in part:  

"...The coronavirus has had significant implications across all of Delaware North’s lines of business, including at your unit. All the major sports leagues suspended their seasons, governments are requiring closures and reduction of capacity at certain venues, tourism has declined, events have been canceled, and more people are simply staying home. Due to this, the Company has no choice but to ensure that we are appropriately staffed.”

The letter also said Delaware North was "committed to returning all our associates to active duty as soon as possible."