MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers were scheduled to open their Major League Baseball (MLB) season against the Arizona Diamondbacks at American Family Field on March 31. As of Tuesday, those plans are now officially out after MLB canceled opening day.
Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Tuesday the sport will lose regular-season games over a labor dispute for the first time in 27 years after acrimonious lockout talks collapsed in the hours before management’s deadline.
Manfred said he is canceling the first two series of the season, dropping the schedule from 162 games to likely 156 games at most.
At American Family Field, the two series delay will mean six home games will be taken off the schedule.
Manfred said the league and union have not made plans for future negotiations. After the sides made progress during 13 negotiating sessions over 16 1/2 hours Monday, the league send the players’ association a “best and final offer” Tuesday on the ninth straight day of negotiations.
Statement from the Major League Baseball Players Association: pic.twitter.com/rmpciPsQm4— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) March 1, 2022
Local fans reacted Tuesday following the announcement.
Fans gathered to talk over a beer at Kelly’s Bleachers just down the street from the field where the Milwaukee Brewers play. Tom Jahnke says he’s worried for the entire season.
“I think these guys are going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg," Jahnke said. "It wouldn’t surprise me if the owners just said okay we’re going to cancel the year, the hell with it."
Beer vendor Ryan Strnad says nearly 80 others just like him rely on income from the long baseball season. He questions the commitment to fans and workers by the players and team owners.
“When they’re in those negotiation rooms, they don’t care about the ball park workers as I’m sorry to say," Strnad said. "They just don’t care about the fans, which really makes me kind of get sick about it."
The Brewers announced Tuesday night that opening day ticket holders should hold on to their tickets. The team says they will be honored whenever the home opener takes place. Other single seat tickets for the April 1-6 games will be refunded.