TEMPE, AZ — After 99 days, the MLB players union and league owners have come to an agreement to end the league’s lockout, bringing Spring Training baseball back to the Valley.
“Relieved… We’re really relieved,” said Cactus League Executive Director Bridget Binsbacher.
According to ESPN, Spring Training games could begin as early as March 17, and players could possibly report to facilities to begin workouts as early as Friday.
Those details, however, have not been confirmed by MLB yet. Confirmed details are expected to be released Thursday night or Friday.
Whenever the games start, Binsbacher says all 10 stadiums across the Valley will be ready for fans.
“We’ve all been through so much the last few years. We’ve proven how resilient we can be, and adaptable and flexible.”
While a regular season of Spring Training typically brings in about $644 million, the exact economic impact this shortened season will have is unclear. Binsbacher, however, is just happy to have games coming back to the Valley.
“The Cactus League Spring Training season should absolutely be part of Arizona’s recovery,” Binsbacher said. “We’re just going to make the most of what we have to work with.”
In order to try to play as many Spring Training games as possible, Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall says he expects more split-squad games, including day and night games on the same day at the same stadiums. Hall hopes to see about 20-25 games per team during Spring Training, which would be a loss of around 10 games.
Confirmed information on scheduling, policies, and tickets from the Cactus League can be found online here once they have been released.
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