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Blazers Announce Layoffs, Salary Reductions Due to the Coronavirus

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The organization’s cutbacks are a result of the inability to generate revenue from live events during the global pandemic.

Chicago Bulls v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers announced layoffs and salary reductions across its organization on Wednesday due to the loss of revenue-generating events during the coronavirus pandemic. Fifteen percent of the Blazers’ workforce was laid off, according to Joe Freeman of The Oregonian:

The Blazers laid off 15% of its workforce — roughly 40 positions— and issued salary cuts for every person in a director role, including President Chris McGowan and his senior vice presidents. The cuts came from departments across the organization and its arena management company, Rip City Management.

Freeman notes that the Blazers bring in around $2 million for each home game. Other live events hosted in the Rose Quarter, like concerts, help generate additional revenue, but the coronavirus pandemic has put large gatherings on indefinite hold.

Blazers President Chris McGowan called the company’s cuts “painful”:

“This is absolutely the most painful decision we have to make as leaders of the organization,” McGowan told The Oregonian/OregonLive. “We’ve tried to do this in a way that’s as compassionate as possible during an unprecedented time.”

The team released its own statement about the personnel moves as well:

Due to the global pandemic, the Trail Blazers organization has been substantially impacted in our ability to host live events for the foreseeable future. As a result of these unprecedented circumstances, the organization has instituted a series of measures to prepare including a reduction in our full-time workforce.

You can read more about the Blazers’ workforce changes here.