Cards create additional $1 million relief fund

April 14th, 2020

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals have set up an additional $1 million fund to offer financial support for concession workers, cleanup crew members, emergency medical and security staff and others on the game-day staff at Busch Stadium, the club announced Tuesday.

With Major League Baseball still on pause and no sign of a start date yet due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Cardinals have now set up two $1 million funds to help those impacted by the delay in games and events at Busch Stadium.

“We know there’s hardship out there,” Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III said in a phone interview with “Many of our employees are retirees who love the team and following it. But we also know a big chunk of people, they rely on this for daily expenses during the summer. There’s a real sense of hardship for that group.

“While it’s not going to entirely replace somebody’s seasonal income from the team, this is a gesture and it’s a small token of appreciation that we can do when times are tough to get them bridged over to when hopefully we’ll see Cardinal baseball soon.”

The first fund came last month, when the Cardinals and the 29 other Major League teams each established a $1 million fund for club employees that work on the game-day staff. That fund will help the grounds crew, ushers, scoreboard operators, interns, retail staff and others directly employed by the Cardinals. DeWitt said there are about 1,400 people who this fund will help.

Financial support for these employees will range from $500 to $1,275, depending on tenure and other factors, the Cardinals said in the announcement. Checks will be mailed, or funds will be available through direct deposit, starting Tuesday.

The second fund, the one announced Tuesday, is being created through Cardinals Care and the St. Louis Community Foundation, which will administer the fund. This money will be available to employees of companies -- like Delaware North, for example -- who work on a part-time or contract basis during game days. Concession employees, emergency medical and security personnel, cleanup crew members and others who work for companies that contract with the Cardinals to provide services to the team are included in this group.

The Cardinals estimate there will be 1,900 people eligible for this fund. In total, the two $1 million funds should provide financial aid to over 3,000 people in St. Louis.

“All of these people, they get their paycheck through some other company, but I think they identify with the Cardinals and a lot of them are big fans and it’s part of why they do what they do,” DeWitt III said. “So we wanted to do something for that group as well.”

Contract-company workers can apply for a one-time, $450 grant from the fund. The remaining money will be used to help cases of extreme hardship, the Cardinals said in the announcement. Fans can also donate to the Cardinals Care Relief Fund and help Busch Stadium workers who are experiencing financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are committed to helping the St. Louis community during the COVID-19 pandemic," DeWitt III said in the statement. "Providing financial support for our seasonal and game-day employees is critical, and we consider all Busch Stadium workers -- regardless of what company name is on their paycheck -- to be part of the Cardinals family."