KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Spring Training is officially postponed.
An announcement from Major League Baseball (MLB) made what everyone already knew official Friday afternoon.
“We regret that, without a collective bargaining agreement in place, we must postpone the start of Spring Training games until no earlier than Saturday, March 5th,” MLB said in a statement.
The league said that fans who already bought tickets to Spring Training games that are not taking place can receive full refunds.
“We are committed to reaching an agreement that is fair to each side,” MLB said.
Members of the owners’ bargaining committee will join a meeting with the Players Association. The league said the two sides plan to negotiate every day next week and work toward starting the season on time.
The Kansas City Royals also released a statement addressing the Spring Training delay.
“This is the time of year for celebrating the sights and sounds of Royals baseball. While we had hoped to open spring training on time, we know that Major League Baseball and the Players Association are focused on getting baseball back on the field,” the Royals said. “We can’t wait to welcome our fans back to the ballpark both in Surprise and Kansas City, and to create new memories together throughout [the] 2022 season.”
The announcement came on the same day Royals single-game tickets went on sale.
So far Opening Day remains scheduled for March 31, and players don’t start accruing salary until the regular season. Given the need for 21-28 days of training and additional time to report and go through COVID-19 protocols, the MLB and players association would need to come an agreement by the end of February or early March for an on-time start.
The sides remained far apart on luxury tax thresholds and rates, with major differences on revenue sharing and how to address players’ allegations of service time manipulation. The MLB said it remains opposed to any increase in salary arbitration eligibility or reduction in revenue sharing.