While professional athletes, business owners, and executives are losing money due to the coronavirus outbreak, the most impacted individuals are service workers employed by the hospitality venues that are supported by professional sports, according to Forbes.
Cancellations, postponements, and/or the suspension of professional sports and entertainment events within the last several days have greatly affected the hospitality industry. Service workers who are hourly employees now find themselves temporarily out of work and struggling due to the pandemic.
Service workers don’t have the luxury of getting regular weekly pay, especially when it comes to sporting events and performances. Teams go in and out of town and there aren’t always concerts or shows happening on a daily basis. Employees don’t oftentimes work full weeks, unless, of course, it’s enhanced when sports teams reach the playoffs, which extends the opportunity to make a heftier salary. This includes the food and beverage vendors, the ushers, the custodial staff, and anyone else who is strictly a seasonal employee who only gets paid when events take place within the venue.
According to data compiled in May 2018 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly income for most jobs within Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations nationally amounts to approximately $25,000. In comparison, the national average salary across all jobs is $51,960. Many food and beverage employees at sports venues would fit into the food occupation descriptions referenced at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The hotel and restaurant industries experience a major dent when one-off sporting events are canceled. Typically, because many of these events, from conference championship tournaments to NCAA championship tournaments in basketball, hockey, and wrestling, can draw crowds where up to 70%–95% of the attendees are visiting from other cities and states.
It also should be stated that local communities and businesses get a chance to make more money due to the increased traffic to sporting and entertainment events as well. So, not only do the professional and/or entertainment venues suffer when there are cancellations, all surrounding businesses take a hit as well.