Pegula Sports & Entertainment officials announced a series of organizational changes on Tuesday, including temporary executive salary reductions, 21 layoffs and 104 furloughs from among its 3,000 employees across PSE’s portfolio companies, due to how the COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed operations.
The Sabres have not played a game since March 9th and were scheduled to have their regular season end on April 4th.
“There is no way to adequately express how difficult these decisions were for Terry and me. It is not something we took lightly, and we are fully aware of the hardships that exist across our community and country right now,” said President and CEO Kim Pegula. “We feel for all the employees and families who will be affected, and we hope that we can all return to full strength in the coming weeks and months.”
“We are also hopeful the steps we are taking now will help us preserve the health of our companies and ensure we are here to provide the jobs and entertainment on which our community depends,” Pegula said.
PSE will continue to pay for health insurance for all furloughed employees. They are expected to be able to reassume their jobs, which, in most cases, they cannot presently perform due to the health crisis or the pause in games. The furloughs begin April 15.
The NHL announced Tuesday morning that its self imposed quarantine will last at least until April 30th. The league is still exploring options to re-start play, but games are still a hope as much as a plan.
In addition to the furloughs, more than three dozen employees across numerous PSE entities and hockey executives will take temporary tiered percentage pay cuts to spread resources within the organization. These include management, hockey staff, broadcasters, as well as contracted employees. Salaried workers paid at lower levels will not be part of the salary-reduction group.
The Buffalo Bills continue to operate at normal levels as there is currently no change to the start of the National Football League’s regular season. The league’s offseason will start virtually on Monday, but not team facilities can open up until all team facilities are able to do so.
With major sporting events postponed or in flux, PSE will continue to closely the monitor the situation.