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Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which owns the 76ers and New Jersey Devils, has made a means to recoup some of its lost revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainty of the NBA and NHL’s suspended seasons.
The Sixers’ and Devils’ at-will employees, making more than $50,000, were informed Monday of temporary salary reductions of up to 20%. The reductions will start on April 15 and run through June 30.
The company will have no layoffs or changes to benefits or 401(k) plans.
“As we navigate this evolving COVID-19 environment, we are mindful of the long-term impact the suspension of live events and games will have on our organization and industry," HBSE CEO Scott O’Neil said in a statement.
In addition to saying full-time, salaried employees were asked to take a temporary pay cut, O’Neil noted they would move to a four-day week.
He also stated that the Sixers will enter into partnership in Philadelphia, Camden and Newark to assists their “neighbors with food and resource distribution during this public health crisis."
O’Neil, Sixers general manager Elton Brand, Sixers president of business operations Chris Heck, and Devils president Jake Reynolds have agreed to the reduction.
The New York Times reported that contracted employees — such as front office personnel and coaching staff members — have also been asked to participate. However, they cannot be forced to do so.
NBA players have yet to be assured of receiving their full April 15 salaries due to their contracts. Teams are obligated to pay the full amount due to a clause they can invoke in emergency scenarios.
All NBA games were suspended March 11. League commissioner Adam Silver announced the next day that play would be suspended for at least 30 days. However, the NBA might not resume until June at the earliest.
The NHL announced on March 12 that its season would be suspended.
Sixers managing partner Josh Harris and David Blitzer are the cochairmen of HBSE.