Fans and vendors react to MLB spring training lockdown
MESA, AZ — Spring training remains in limbo as MLB officials announced plans to cancel games early in the upcoming season.
Fans at Sloan Park in Mesa were hoping to see the Cubs take to the field. Instead, they visit the gift shop.
“Disappointed – we had tickets and everything,” Cubs fan Lee Pedraza said.
“We came from Illinois outside of Chicago to see the Cubs and spend a week here and that’s not happening, but at least I was lucky enough to get a cap,” he said. he adds.
Lizzy Kinasz was also in town from the Chicago area. She wanted to watch a game and celebrate her birthday. Unfortunately, the lockdown meant there were no games until players and owners reached an agreement.
“Bored because we had tickets for tomorrow, we were excited to come — we’re Cubs fans,” she said.
On Tuesday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced the sport would scrap some regular season games due to a labor dispute for the first time in 27 years.
“My deepest hope is that we reach an agreement soon,” Manfred said.
“I’m really disappointed that we didn’t find an agreement,” he added.
“Today is a sad day,” said union leader Tony Clark.
“The reason we’re not playing is simple: a lockdown is the ultimate economic weapon,” Clark added.
Still, fans said they were disappointed with the lack of games and found other ways to enjoy their time in the Valley.
Jim and Michele Hunt spent Tuesday touring stadiums and buying fan gear.
“I love sitting in the chair, drinking a nice cold beer and watching baseball,” Jim said.
“It’s the American thing to do. We’re disappointed, but hopefully they can figure it out today and come to a conclusion and get back to baseball.”
Michele shared the same sentiment.
“I’m sad. I was so excited. We had tickets ready and a trip planned and I love baseball,” she said.
The ongoing lockdown will also prevent vendors like the Chuckies Food Truck from coming to the Valley.
Chuckies owner Chuck Cox told ABC15 he was already having trouble getting supplies, but made the decision not to come after hearing about the lockdown.
“I live in Iowa where it’s colder than hell and I can’t wait to go to spring training,” he said.
“I love Arizona and I love the Cubs,” he added.
Cox has been serving his famous tenderloin sandwiches at Cubs spring training games for about 15 years.
He said if all goes as planned, he will be back next year.
“Where can you go to work, earn money and watch football in the winter,” he added.
It’s still unclear how spring training will be handled this season.
No date for the resumption of negotiations has been announced, but the earliest start of the season is April 8.