The Cactus League asks MLB to delay Spring Training

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The Cactus League, as well as the mayors of the host cities for Spring Training, have sent a letter to MLB asking to delay Spring Training games due to the fact that Arizona is in the middle of a COVID surge. 15 teams play here and are scheduled to start in February. Although MLB alone does not make this decision, players have to agree. The Grapefruit League in Florida has not made such a request and in fact, is selling tickets. We talk with Bridget Binsbacher, the Executive Director of the Cactus League about the issue.

We talk to Binsbacher about what went into this.  They started with a task force and have been meeting since September. They met with their members and stakeholders.  Their goal is to create a safe experience for the fans. With The spike in cases and the process of administering vaccines, The Cactus League decided it would be effective to express their support of delaying spring training. If it is on time, Binsbacher said they will be ready for it.

We also discuss a target date to start spring training. The cactus league does not make this decision and the MLB does not only make the decision. MLB has to coordinate with the Player’s Association. Binsbacher said they have not landed on a specific date to start spring training if it does get delayed. They have not heard back anything official from the MLB in response to the letter.

Last year, COVID-19 hit during spring training. We talked with Binsbacher about how big of a hit it was to the Cactus League and the host cities. Binsbacher said last year it looks like there was about a 300 million dollar cost to the economy of the state. She said it was “a significant hit” but the public’s health, safety, and being “part of a solution” is most important.

Bridget Binsbacher, Executive Director of the Cactus League

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