Don't Play Ball

Will Spring Training Happen This Year?

Spring training has been postponed because of the ongoing MLB lockout, and a deadline to reach a deal is looming. Here's how that affects our region.

By Samantha Lane February 25, 2022

As Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association continue to negotiate the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement, the league's spring training season is in jeopardy. Spring training was scheduled to begin Saturday, Feb. 26, but that opening date has been pushed back to Saturday, March 5, at the earliest. 

That means empty seats at spring training stadiums, including in Sarasota, where the Baltimore Orioles play; Bradenton, where the Pittsburgh Pirates play; and North Port, where the Atlanta Braves, last year's World Series champions, play. It's the third straight year of disruptions to the spring training season. The 2020 session was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and limitations were placed on teams and attendees last year because of the pandemic, as well.

Representatives from local teams say they are in the dark due to the lockout, and when contacted were unable to give us details about spring training plans or future games, beyond what Major League Baseball has announced.

According to Yahoo Sports, officials are saying that if a deal between the league and the players' union is not reached by Monday, Feb. 28, regular season games will begin to be cancelled. The regular season is currently set to start Thursday, March 31.

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