Why a Pro Sports Team Got a $4.82M COVID Loan

The Pittsburgh Penguins needed it for rent, apparently
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2020 4:15 AM CST
NHL Team Gets $4.82M COVID Loan
In this Wednesday, June 15, 2016, file photo, Ron Burkle rides along the victory parade route for the Pittsburgh Penguins, in Pittsburgh.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

The Pittsburgh Penguins, an NHL team valued at $650 million, received a $4.82 million loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, part of the CARES Act passed at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Larry Brooks at the New York Post, the hockey team was the only one of the 123 teams that make up the Big Four North American Men’s Sports Leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL) to get a loan from the aid program, which was supposed to help small businesses keep employees on the payroll.

The Penguins, owned by the Lemieux Group LP, with Mario Lemieux co-owner/chairman and Ron Burkle co-owner, told the Post that after its arena was shut down and it was denied a request to have its rent payment deferred, the team applied for the loan and used the money to put toward that annual payment, which was paid in September to the Sports & Exhibition Authority, the team's landlord. "We are pleased these funds were used to support an important public agency during these challenging times," the team says. (Co-owner Burkle recently made a large real estate purchase.)

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