Flames players donate to fan's fundraising campaign for arena staff
A Calgary Flames fan is raising money for hourly and event staff at the Scotiabank Saddledome whom the team's ownership group won't be compensating during the hiatus resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Raymond Lau, a longtime season-ticket holder and former hourly employee at the arena, started a GoFundMe on Saturday night after learning that Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation was choosing not to pay relevant workers for the lost shifts.
Several Flames players, including captain Mark Giordano, Sean Monahan, Milan Lucic, Sam Bennett, and Zac Rinaldo have donated to the effort, as have some of the players' partners, including Lauren Giordano and Amber Brodie.
The campaign began with a goal of $10,000 but raised more than $38,000 overnight.
All of the proceeds will go toward the arena employees affected by the shutdown. Lau said if CSEC reverses course and decides to pay them, the money will be donated to the Flames Foundation, to a local charity, or it will be used in a way that still benefits the hourly and event staff.
The Flames ownership group sent an email to the workers explaining that unless otherwise notified, all scheduled shifts were canceled, and any shifts from March 13 onward must be approved by a supervisor.
Many NHL owners and several players have said they will help out their arena workers to account for postponed or canceled shifts.