Spring Training postponed in Valley as MLB lockout continues

MLB Spring Baseball
Posted at 12:30 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-19 00:27:05-05

Spring Training isn't going to happen any time soon.

On Friday, Major League Baseball announced that Spring Training has officially been delayed and will not start earlier than March 5, after the league and its player's association couldn't reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement, according to multiple reports.

In a statement, the league said it would meet with MLBPA on Monday for an in-person meeting and "remain every day next week to negotiate and work hard towards starting the season on time."

Fans hanging around Sloan Park on Friday were frustrated Spring Training was postponed.

“We need to get back on the field guys,” said baseball fan Len Tau.

“Unfortunately, I was not surprised,” said Cubs fan, Sheri Laufer.

Laufer says she’s been keeping up with the negotiations between players and owners. Talks between the two sides are expected to ramp up next week as the deadlines to start the regular season looms.

”I know it’s really unfortunate for spring training, I’m just right now hoping for Opening Day,” said Laufer.

Steve Adams is with the volunteer group, the Hohokams.

“We’re not happy,” he said.

The Hohokams are the volunteers that help with parking and the 5050 raffles at both parks in Mesa.

After 2020’s Spring Training was partially canceled due to the pandemic, then limited capacity last year, the group was hoping for a season in full swing.

Adams says the money they bring in each game goes to area non-profits and Valley sports groups.

“That decreases the amount of money we’re going to have for youth sports and nonprofits in the East Valley,” said Adams.

Out in the West Valley, Goodyear Mayor Joe Pizzillo sent ABC15 a statement saying, “Spring Training is a staple in Goodyear and is something our residents and visitors look forward to each year. While we are disappointed that games won’t kick off as planned, we continue to remain optimistic that there will be a resolution soon. Our ballpark staff continues to be ready to welcome fans to Goodyear Ballpark.”

Bridget Binsbacher, executive director of the Cactus League, said they are disappointed the season won't begin as scheduled but facilities will be ready to open as soon as they can.

"Spring Training is a major tourism driver in Arizona, and our stakeholders are counting on a strong 2022 spring training season after enduring two COVID-disrupted seasons," Binsbacher said in a statement released Friday. "We are also disappointed for the many out-of-state fans whose travel plans have been impacted."

It's the league's ninth work stoppage and the first in 26 years began on Dec. 2.

An ASU study from before the pandemic measured the exhibition games have an economic impact of hundreds of millions of dollars for the state each year.

“Hopefully we don’t lose more than one week because youth sports will be negatively impacted because can’t donate the way we want to,” said Adams.