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Arizona nonprofits could lose thousands of dollars if MLB lockout continues

Until a deal is reached, spring training games will not be played. The first games around the Valley are set for Saturday, Feb. 26th.
Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 7:55 PM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Major League Baseball is in a lockout right now. The player’s association and the owners are negotiating how to split the revenue and how much each side should get paid.

Until a deal is reached, spring training games will not be played. The first games around the Valley are set for Saturday, Feb. 26th. They are in jeopardy right now, with the lockout continuing.

Local nonprofits like the Tempe Diablos rely on spring training to fundraise. The group has hundreds of volunteers that work at the Angels Stadium on gamedays. Most of the money people spend goes to the Diablos, and they share it with local nonprofits and help pay for scholarships and after-school programs.

Volunteer Greg Garcia says the Diablos raise several hundred thousand dollars during the six-week season. It’s their biggest moneymaker of the year. If the games are canceled, that would be a big hit to them.

“It’s a huge impact. We love it; we volunteer thousands of hours. It’s a lot of hard work, but we love it because we get to see the impact at the end of the day,” said Garcia.

The Diablos say they have reserve funding they could use but always want to get ahead to keep giving back to the community. Other nonprofits benefit from other games across the Valley as well.

Cactus League Executive Director Bridget Binsbacher says MLB officials haven’t said anything to her during the lockout. She says they’re preparing for an on-time start, although she says they’re anxious.

“Right now, it’s just more of wait and see. When’s Opening day? Until we hear otherwise, we’re going to be ready for Feb. 26th. The closer we get, the more anxious we get, but we will be ready,” said Binsbacher.

Binsbacher says two odd years during the pandemic have taught them to adapt on the fly. She wants baseball back on time, but the teams know how to adjust.

“Our disappointment is the Cactus league could and should be part of Arizona’s recovery. Be ready in a moment’s notice; we’ve gotten really good at that,” she said.