An empty Madison Square Garden before the start of the...

An empty Madison Square Garden before the start of the Big East Basketball Tournament Thursday March 12, 2020.   Credit: Getty Images/Sarah Stier

As the arena remains shut down by the COVID-19 crisis, Madison Square Garden Company has informed its employees that they will be provided financial support through May 3 and also be supplemented a by a relief fund put in place to aid those affected by the shutdown.

In a letter to employees, Madison Square Garden announced that venue employees who averaged 20-plus hours per week over the last six months will be paid through May 3, an extension of the original arrangement with unions that represent workers at the Garden, Beacon Theater and Radio City Music Hall. 

Additionally, the company announced the establishment of the MSG Relief Fund, which is solely focused on providing employees with financial assistance. The fund was created with a $1 million donation from the MSG Company, $1 million from the Dolan Family Foundation and nearly another $300,000 from the MSG management team. 

The fund will provide direct assistance for a wide variety of expenses, including unanticipated healthcare costs, rent or mortgage payments, utility expenses, food, medicine and other necessities.  

The fund will assist by allowing any individual who was employed with MSG on March 11, 2020, to apply for a tax-free grant, meaning that the recipient would not have to pay taxes on any money they receive. Grant applications will be reviewed by an internal committee.

The fund can accept tax-deductible donations at