A delay in Major League Baseball’s 2022 season is a guarantee now as the league announced the cancellation of the first two series of the regular season. With this delay, Spring Training as we know it will be non-existent this season. Now it becomes a waiting game as to what it means for the Arizona Cactus League’s make-shift season.
In total, 15 teams play at 10 parks across the Valley each spring and the pre-season spectacle is a massive tourism draw for the Phoenix metro area. It impacts everyone from the player, to the fan, to the hourly employees at the stadiums during February and March.
The Cactus League released a statement on their website:
The first week of the 2022 Cactus League season has been delayed amid the ongoing MLB contract negotiations. According to MLB, spring training games would start no earlier than Saturday, March 5.
“We are extremely disappointed that the 2022 Cactus League season will not begin as scheduled. Spring training is a major tourism driver in Arizona, and our stakeholders are counting on a strong 2022 springs training season after enduring two COVID-disrupted seasons. We are disappointed for the many out-of-state fans whose travel plans have been impacted.
We don’t know when a new labor agreement will be reached. This much we do know: the 10 Cactus League ballparks will be ready to open when needed. During the last two seasons, our facilities have learned to be prepared for unforeseen challenges. We remain hopeful of a settlement and look forward to welcoming the teams and their fans back to Arizona soon.”
So what does this all mean for the fanbases who plan their annual vacations around Spring Training in Arizona? You’ll need to check with each stadium specifically, but the vast majority of Cactus League parks are either offering credits for tickets or refunding ticket sales completely for cancelled/postponed games. Sloan Park in Mesa (Chicago Cubs) posted on their website, “For the 2022 Spring Training season, if games are impacted (i.e., canceled, postponed and not rescheduled, or have restricted capacity that prevents the use of your specific seats), you will have the option to receive a credit or refund for the impacted games.”
But say you do still come to beautiful sunny Phoenix this spring on your Spring Training trip. There is plenty to do in the The Valley this March. Check out UrbanMatter Phoenix’s March events guide to help plan your trip around the absence of America’s past time. When it’s all said and done though, you can still check out Guy Fieri’s new restaurant at Chase Field if you need a bit of Flavortown near a baseball stadium.