The Seattle Sounders received just a little less than $2.8 million from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program, a club spokesperson confirmed to Sounder at Heart on Wednesday. They were one of five MLS teams listed among the 660,000 companies that received at least $150,000. The OL Reign were also among that group of recipients, albeit in the $150,000-$350,000 tranche.
There had initially been some confusion as to whether or not the Sounders were legally allowed to apply for the loan, but they were eventually given the green light.
The influx of money has allowed the Sounders to avoid layoffs to their workforce of about 150. With that money now having been spent, however, the Sounders revealed that some cost-cutting measures will need to be put into place. In addition to the voluntary pay cuts that the coaching staff and some senior executives accepted a couple months ago, the Sounders are using a combination of furloughs, work-shares and “shared sacrifices” to save more money. The hope is that these cost-cutting measures will effectively form a bridge to a time when fans are allowed back into the stadium and revenues will stabilize while continuing to allow the team to avoid layoffs, the spokesperson said.
The furloughs will mostly be to employees who are left with virtually nothing to do during this downtime. Those employees will still be allowed to keep their benefits while also collecting unemployment.
The majority of the “shared sacrifices” will come from making use of Washington’s SharedWork program that allows for employees to recoup lost hours through partial unemployment claims. The Sounders employees unaffected by the furloughs and workshare will all take pay cuts.