Rays are first team to furlough employees

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Yesterday we wrote about how the Oakland A’s may lay off a number of employees. They have yet to do so yet — and last night they announced they’d pay employees through May 31 — but the Tampa Bay Rays have.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that staff has informed by principal owners Stuart Sternberg and team presidents Matt Silverman and Brian Auld that a number of full-time employees will be furloughed effective this Saturday. The Times reported the furloughs are believed to involve less than half the club’s 400-to-500 full-time employees. They are temporary layoffs, not job eliminations. How long the furloughs are, however, depends on job function and could be lengthy:

No timetable was set for the furloughs, which could last months as employees are to be recalled when needed and not necessarily when there is an announcement of play resuming. For example, if games are played at another site or with no fans, then tickets sales workers or fan experience staff would not be needed at Tropicana Field.

In addition to the furloughs, some members of the baseball operations department are to receive pay cuts starting at 10%.

Forbes estimated that the Rays had an operating income of $68 million in 2019 on revenue of $264 million, $31 million of which came from gate receipts. Principal owner Stuart Sternberg is estimated to have a net worth of around $800 million dollars.

UPDATE: Missed this, but the Marlins will be furloughing business operations staff as well.