Spring Training Delay’s Impact Local Economy

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Spring training was slated to start in Arizona on February 25. The start has been delayed because of the Major League lockout. Earlier we spoke with Bridget Binsbacher, the Cactus League executive director, about what’s going on and the impact of a delayed start.

When would spring training begin when the lockout ends?

Binsbacher: “I don’t have specific information. So right now all we know is that spring is not scheduled to start before March twelfth. So that is what we are anticipating. I would imagine they would need some time before final terms and conditions are established to get to the first spring training game, but it’s very, very difficult to speculate. So we just need to know we need to be ready.”

What about the end point for spring training? If it starts a couple weeks late does it go on for a couple more weeks?

Binsbacher: “Well, that remains to be seen. There has already been an adjustment to the regular season. That potentially gives a little more time on the tail end. You know it all hinges on what the final outcome and negotiation between these two parties are.”

There has to be a logical ending to spring training, because its going to be getting pretty warm in Arizona soon.

Binsbacher:  “Baseball is played in Arizona year round. It can happen anytime. Certainly we can see it happen all year long, but I can’t imagine spring training going to far into the hotter months.”

What are the impacts going to be economically?

Binsbacher:  “That’s the biggest concern for the cactus league association, because obviously just we are representing ten facilities, municipalities, the tribal communities. We measure that activity every other year… the impact was $644 million, generating 6,400 part time seasonal jobs, and nearly 32 million in state and local revenues.”

Can the Cactus League push the MLB to do something?

Binsbacher:  “It’s a ‘wait and see’ for the Cactus League too. This is a negotiation between these two parties. We are not in the room, we are not part of the discussion so it is really difficult for us to weigh in.”

 

Bridget Binsbacher, Cactus League executive director

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