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Canucks organization lays off a quarter of full-time staff amid coronavirus pandemic

Canucks Sports and Entertainment says 49 people have been issued layoff notices due to pandemic business impacts.
Canucks Sports and Entertainment says 49 people have been issued layoff notices due to pandemic business impacts. Simon Little / Global News

The Vancouver Canucks organization says it is laying off at least 49 workers — a quarter of its full-time staff — amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The news came Wednesday, as the team prepared to take the ice in an exhibition game against the Winnipeg Jets, its first competitive game in months.

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Trent Carroll, Canucks Sports and Entertainment chief operating officer, confirmed the layoffs in an email, saying that, like so many other businesses, the team’s finances have been hit hard.

Summer hockey, Vancouver Canucks on the ice for training camp
Summer hockey, Vancouver Canucks on the ice for training camp

“These are incredibly challenging days for everyone involved. These are our friends and colleagues and (we) will do everything we possibly can to support them through this period,” said Carroll.

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“At the same time, we will also ensure we are ready to start up when we get back to normal operations again at Rogers Arena. We hope to call back as many of our employees as possible when that time comes.”

A spokesperson for the organization said other employees had been notified that additional layoffs could be possible “depending how things play out.”