TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Major League Baseball and the Players Association have not agreed on a new collective bargaining agreement. The league is locked out right now. During a lockout, players and coaches cannot practice or play at the facilities. Phoenix-area businesses are worried the lockout could impact spring training.
Fifteen teams come to the Valley for spring training every year, and hundreds of thousands of fans travel here. Arizona State University published a study showing those fans have an economic impact of hundreds of millions of dollars. They spend millions on hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. Manager Heidi Tedhams at Four Peaks Brewing in Tempe says February and March are her busiest times. She says the baseball crowd gives her a big boost.
"The increased revenue we see that time of year from everyone traveling from everywhere. Obviously, the Cubs stadium being super close to us has been a big boost, so we do see a lot more of those fans," Tedhams said.
The Cactus League executive director Bridget Binsbacher says the MLB has said nothing to her about delaying the start of the season. "We're just kind of focusing on what we can control locally. We're planning on Opening Day for Feb. 26. Until we hear otherwise, that's what we will prepare for," Binsbacher said.
The first players typically start arriving for practices in the middle of February. Binsbacher expects there to be COVID-19 protocols in the parks if the games are played, and they are not sure which protocols they will require.