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MLB cancels opening day after sides fail to end lockout; Glendale leaders want compensation

Phelps says Glendale spends about $17M a year to maintain the facility. They want the teams here, but they don’t want to be ignored.
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 5:37 PM MST
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GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5/AP) -- Major League Baseball has canceled opening day. Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Tuesday the sport will lose regular-season games over a labor dispute for the first time in 27 years after acrimonious lockout talks collapsed in the hours before management’s deadline.

Manfred said he is canceling the first two series of the season that was set to begin March 31, dropping the schedule from 162 games to likely 156 games at most. Now, it seems likely the rest of spring training won’t happen in cities across the Valley.

Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps is frustrated. The Dodgers and White Sox play at Camelback Ranch in Glendale. For the third straight year, spring training is cut short. Phelps says the league hasn’t spoken with them during the lockout.

“We’ve invested 200M for that 20-year period and we have not heard a single thing from the major league office. No desire, no understanding, no sympathy.”

Phelps says Glendale spends about $17M a year to maintain the facility. They want the teams here, but they don’t want to be ignored. Phelps says Major League Baseball should compensate Arizona with $10m from lost revenue. That could give a boost to hotels, restaurants, and stores that typically see a boost from all the fans flying in to watch the games.

“That’s what a good partner would do. The fact they won’t even engage in a conversation shows us they don’t value our partnership. It’s very disappointing from my perspective.”

Phelps says that money may not be a lot to MLB, but it would help our valley economy a lot. He’s not looking to the future, and hopefully a full spring training in 2023.

“It won’t be until next year where we start seeing the kinds of occupancy rates and the activity we want to have so bad,” Phelps said.

Manfred said the league and union have not made plans for future negotiations. Players won’t be paid for missed games.

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