Looming MLB labor stoppages may impact Arizona's spring training

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Saturday, November 27, 2021 - 5:04pm
Updated: Monday, November 29, 2021 - 7:50am
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A work stoppage is looming for Major League Baseball, as the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and its players’ union is set to expire later this week.

The Cactus League is now preparing for a spring training without players, after multiple seasons were impacted by COVID-19.

The last time MLB faced a work stoppage, players struck for 232 days, and replacement players were hired to play spring training games before the 1995 season.

Bridget Binsbacher is the executive director of the Cactus League. She says a third straight year of shortened or canceled spring training would further harm the state’s tourism industry.

“I think at this point, our stakeholders, our fans, everyone is really looking forward to a complete season, and we believe it’s going to be a vital part of the recovery for Arizona’s economy,” said Binsbacher.

Binsbacher says potential ways to recoup lost income have not yet been discussed, as the Cactus League is anticipating and preparing for a full schedule.

She says the last two years have prepared the league for hosting spring training under any circumstances.

“During the last two seasons, we definitely learned to be prepared for unforeseen challenges and circumstances. We came together in a big way, especially last year,” said Binsbacher.

If the work stoppage does end before the start of spring training, the exhibitions are set to begin Feb. 26.

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