Cactus League Kicks Off Season
Spring Training kicks off in Maricopa County at ten ballparks.
Cactus League leaders are looking forward to the first “normal” season in Arizona in four years. The 2020 and 2021 seasons were disrupted by COVID-19 and the 2022 season was delayed by the MLB lockout.
The 2023 Cactus League season begins on Friday, February 24 and runs through Tuesday, March 28, with 15 MLB teams training in 10 ballparks across Maricopa County. We spoke to Bridget Binsbacher, Executive Director of the Cactus League, about the upcoming season.
What happened with previous seasons?
“We went into 2020 thinking everything was okay, that there was a virus floating around, and then March 12th the season came to an abrupt end. It’s one of those things where you remember where you were, because it was just hard to believe that it stopped so quickly,” said Binsbacher.
“In 2021, we had reduced capacity; we had put together a task force to create a base plan, so that we could welcome fans back into our facilities at a reduced capacity with very specific policy changes to create a safe environment,” said Binsbacher.
“Then we had the lockout, so that was just a wait and see. We’re not apart of those discussions, so we didn’t really know what was going to happen, what date is going to be opening day and that was a big challenge. It was pushed back and modified, and we just had to roll with it and make the best out of the opportunity we had, which was still limited compared to a normal season,” said Binsbacher.
What are you expecting for this season?
“Big crowds, excited people, and you can already feel the energy. People are so excited to get back into these facilities and enjoy baseball like they’ve been able to for years without all of the restrictions and the modifications and all of that that we’ve experienced the last few years,” said Binsbacher.