Angels owner who got $175m subsidy is stiffing stadium workers, because outsourcing

Another day, another news story about sports stadium workers who can’t pay their rent because teams are refusing to pay third-party employees during the coronavirus shutdown:

On March 17, the Dodgers and Angels — and every other major league team — each committed $1 million to provide financial assistance to game-day workers.

Luna believed that meant he would get financial assistance. He has not seen a dime. The fact that he works for third-party concession companies and not the Dodgers or Angels complicates his situation.

“It’s getting pretty stressful,” he said. “I rely on this income.”

That million-dollar-per-team relief fund got a lot of attention when it was announced, even though the total isn’t much more than each MLB team will be paying the last guy on their bench. But the bigger problem is that most of the people who sell you hot dogs or scorecards aren’t actually team employees — they work for concessionaires like Aramark, which means baseball owners feel entirely justified in not paying them squat during the sports layoff. Some teams have relented — the Red Sox added an extra $500,000 to cover some subcontracted employees after a public outcry — but plenty of others haven’t.

As discussed before, this is somewhere between irony and hypocrisy, given that every team that comes seeking stadium or arena funds makes sure to cite the jobs that these subsidies will help make possible. Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno and his supporters, in fact, used precisely that argument in pushing for a land deal that gave Moreno about a $175 million subsidy for his stadium plans:

“For every fan who told us to keep the Angels, this proposal would do exactly that,” Mayor Harry Sidhu said in a statement. “This proposal reflects what we’ve heard from the community – keep the Angels, a fair land price, money for neighborhoods, ongoing revenue, affordable housing, parks and jobs for Anaheim.”

Okay, Sidhu didn’t say good jobs, I guess. But even if “I am proud to sign a deal that will provide my city with shitty part-time jobs that can be terminated at the drop of a hat because of the magic of subcontracting” might have been more honest, it doesn’t fit as well on a bumper sticker.


2 comments on “Angels owner who got $175m subsidy is stiffing stadium workers, because outsourcing

  1. Former marlins team president David Sampson has a podcast where he talks about various aspects of baseball operations. I catch it from time to time. When they announced the $$ to pay daily workers, he flat out said this was flawed because of the third party issue and this was never going to work. Not that he was a great guy, but at least he understood how stadium operations work. So I’m not surprised to hear it’s not working. It’s just sad the owners all like to pretend they’re helping so they can feel good about themselves.

    • The great thing about Samson is truly that he says out loud what other owners only think to themselves:

      http://www.fieldofschemes.com/2018/12/18/14431/former-marlins-exec-gives-fans-the-finger-literally-not-figuratively-as-he-brags-of-profits-from-stadium-ripoff/