A report from the New York Post highlighted that the Pittsburgh Penguins, valued at over $ 600 million, received nearly $ 5 million in funding through the Paycheck Protection Program under the CARES Act in 2020.
The New York Post report says the Penguins are the only professional sports team to receive a loan under the program among 123 professional sports organizations in the “Big Four,” which include the NHL, MLB, NFL and NBA.
A public record search on a COVID Bailout Tracker The website shows that the Lemieux Group, LP, which owns and operates the Penguins, received a loan of $ 4.82 million through First National Bank.
When contacted for comment by the New York Post, the Penguins said:
“Our arena having been closed since March and with no event income, we have asked our owner, the Sports & Exhibition Authority (SEA), to consider a temporary deferral of our annual rent payment due in September. This request was refused, ”replied the Penguins.
As a result, we borrowed $ 4.8 million under the CARES Act in mid-August and applied the funds to our September rent payment of $ 6.1 million to SEA, which was used by the public body to make the required deposit payment.
“SEA has indicated that it is facing similar financial difficulties as a result of the closure of the SEA-owned convention center, and we are pleased that these funds have been used to support an important public agency during these difficult times. “
“Our holidays were in effect from June to September,” the organization said. “We brought in staff on September 1 to prepare for next season.”
If more paycheck funds become available in the future with more COVID-related legislation passed by Congress, it will be interesting to see if other teams and organizations will apply for and / or receive funding.
In May, the team announced he was temporarily putting employees on leave and also announced pay cuts for team president and CEO David Morehouse, as well as senior managers and coaches. According to a Forbes article from December 2020, the Penguins generated operating profit of $ 14 million in the calendar year 2020.
Earlier this week it was reported that Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle bought Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch for $ 22 million.
The team is scheduled to begin training camp on January 3 and begin their season on January 13.
For now, local and state regulations prevent fans from attending games, but it’s unclear if or when that could change in the fluid and ongoing coronavirus pandemic.