COVID-19 forces Scotiabank Arena sports bar employees to pay for closing professional leagues.


When the NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and Major League Football ceased operations this week in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, professional Toronto athletes were not the only ones to suddenly have time.

Full-time and part-time employees working in the city’s sports bars also watch fewer hours, while thousands of workers at the Scotiabank Arena, where the NHL Maple Leaves and Raptors NBA play, look at the layoffs.

Sutish Sundarun, a chef at The Pint Public House on Front Street West, near the center of Rogers, says the number of patrons attracted has plummeted as leagues have suspended their seasons.

“So, we have about 500, at least a day … when this place is occupied, and today it barely touches 50 or 40.”

Sundarun, like most employees at a popular restaurant and bar, is worried that he will have to cut down on time.

Owner Cesar Mezen says these decisions have not yet been made, and he hopes to retain staff by focusing on delivering food to customers' homes.

“We must find a way to stay alive”

“Most people prefer to stay home, and we must find a way to stay alive.”

Tony Elenis, President and CEO of the Ontario Hotels, Restaurants and Motels Association, says this is a reality for hospitality industry operators.

“You have to do business accordingly. Thus, there will be some reduction in costs and expenses, ”he said.

“Sport does not affect all enterprises, not all restaurants, but those that are in the immediate vicinity of the city center, so now they only go through the forecasting stage and take appropriate measures.”

Toronto Raptors fans in Jurassic Park at happier times. Restaurants and bars, especially in the city center, have lost business due to the cancellation of professional sports events. (Carlos Osorio / Reuters)

According to Elenis, judging by what happened during the outbreak of SARS in Toronto in 2003 and 2004, the part-time job that will fill the job during periods of high demand will be the obvious first reduction.

“I hope that at the moment this will not affect the main staff positions. It's a little early now. ”

Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, which owns Leafs, Raptors, Argonauts and FC Toronto, as well as Scotiabank Arena, has already taken steps.

Company spokesperson Dave Haggit says the transfer of all MLSE-related events and games has stopped the company's ongoing operations, which will have a direct impact on about 4,000 full-time and part-time employees.

“We are one team, and we know that it is important to support all our hourly employees,” said Haggit.

Tony Elenis, President and CEO of the Ontario Hotels, Restaurants and Motels Association, says the hospitality industry works on very narrow borders, and dismissals due to the abolition of professional sports games can become a reality. (Cbc)

MSLE will pay all laid-off workers financial benefits to replenish employment insurance benefits up to 95 percent of their average average earnings over four weeks. Haggit says this is the maximum size provided by Service Canada so that they are eligible for all the benefits of EI.

In addition, employees who are not eligible for EI benefits will still be paid an equivalent portion of MLSE replenishment.

Treasury Secretary Bill Morneau said Friday that the federal government will do 10 billion dollars available to enterprises under the loan program.

He said it was an effective tool during the 2008 financial crisis.

Morneau said that he also contacted the leaders of the largest banks, who told him that they would “support business and individuals” with honesty and compassion.

Back at the Pint Pub, meanwhile, Sundarun just hopes to be able to cover his monthly expenses.

“We should be able to get our basic bills, and not, you know, have stress.”



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