It’s been a challenging year for people who make a living working for the large venues that were forced shut down last year.
“I cannot wait to go back to work. It’s been a strange year,” said Gerard Cerda.
What You Need To Know
- Gerard Cerda says he’s hoping that he’ll be allowed to return to his job as a beer vendor next month when capacity at large arenas is increased to 25%
- Cerda and his wife were laid off from their jobs at Madison Square Garden at the height of the pandemic
- The governor says he chose the date to increase capacity at stadiums and arenas to coincide with the playoffs
Standing outside Madison Square Garden with his wife, Cerda like almost everyone else, longs for a return to normal.
“I started here in 1993 when I was an 18-year-old kid straight out of high school. It was a job for me to pay my bills, pay my books, my tuition,” said Cerda.
The beer vendor says he’s been waiting patiently to resume what has turned into a 27 year career at the arena, where he also met and married his wife, Kay Gracia, a bartender. They were both laid off at the height of the pandemic.
“Last year was a very depressing time,” said Cerda. “It seemed like there was no end in sight.”
“We were saving money for a house, you know, for a better life for our kids,” said Gracia. “We had to use those savings.”
After 11 months on unemployment, Gracia was called back to her job in February after Gov. Andrew Cuomo allowed 10% capacity in stadiums and arenas. Starting May 19, venues like the Garden will be able to go to 25% capacity. Cerda hopes that’s when he’ll get the call.
“I miss my extended family, my friends, everyone at the Garden from every department, from security, ushers to the folks that we work with, food service workers,” said Cerda.
Cuomo chose the May date to coincide with the playoffs. Both Cerda and Gracia say there’s nothing quite like working a Garden event.
“I love working here, I love the energy I love the people,” said Gracia.
Cerda is happy that his wife has returned. He can only wonder when he’ll follow.