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Fans and vendors in the Valley react to MLB Spring Training lockout

Posted at 6:00 PM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 20:00:22-05

MESA, AZ — Spring Training remains in limbo as MLB officials announced plans to cancel games from the start of the upcoming season.

Fans at Sloan Park in Mesa were hoping to be watching the Cubs take the field. Instead, they're visiting the gift shop.

"Disappointed -- we had tickets and everything," said Lee Pedraza, a Cubs fan.

"We came from Illinois, outside of Chicago, to see the Cubs and spend a week here and that's not happening, but at least I got a chance to get a cap," he added.

Lizzy Kinasz was also in town from the Chicago area. She wanted to watch a game and celebrate her birthday. Unfortunately, the lockout meant no games until players and owners reach a deal.

"Annoyed because we had tickets for tomorrow, we were excited to come -- we're Cubs fans," she said.

On Tuesday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the sport will scrap some regular season games over a labor dispute for the first time in 27 years.

“My deepest hope is we get an agreement quickly,” Manfred said.

“I’m really disappointed we didn’t make an agreement," he added.

“Today is a sad day,” union leader Tony Clark said.

“The reason we are not playing is simple: a lockout is the ultimate economic weapon," Clark added.

Still, fans said they were disappointed by the lack of games and found other ways to enjoy their time in the Valley.

Jim and Michele Hunt spent Tuesday visiting the stadiums and buying fan gear.

"I love just getting in the chair, having a nice cold beer and watching baseball," said Jim.

"It's the American thing to do. We're disappointed but hopefully they can figure it out today and come to some conclusion and get back to baseball."

Michele shared that same sentiment.

"I'm sad. I was so excited. We had tickets ready, and a trip planned and I love baseball," she said.

The ongoing lockout will also keep vendors like Chuckies food truck from coming to the Valley.

Chuckies owner Chuck Cox told ABC15 that he was already having issues getting supplies but made the decision not to come after hearing about the lockout.

"I live in Iowa where it's colder than hell and I really look forward going to spring training," he said.

"I love Arizona and I love the Cubs," he added.

Cox has been serving his famous tenderloin sandwiches at Cubs Spring Training games for about 15 years.

He said if all goes according to plan, he'll be back next year.

"Where can you go work and make money and watch a ball game in the winter," he added.

It remains unclear how spring training will be handled this season.

No date for negotiations to resume has been announced but the earliest the season can begin is April 8.