The quiet humming noise from a construction team busy attaching signage for an upcoming college football bowl game was the only sign of activity outside of Chase Field on Thursday afternoon.
Aside from that, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball was calm, almost tranquil.
On December 2, that’s OK — and even anticipated. The issue is whether it will still feel this way on March 31.
That’s when the 2022 MLB season kicks out, and Chase Field’s downtown concourse should be packed with spectators, eager to kick off the 162-game schedule against the Milwaukee Brewers with a day game. However, with the sport’s first labor stoppage in 26 years, it’s uncertain if that game, or any others, will take place this spring.
Bill Pupo, a longtime baseball fan and Diamondbacks season-ticket holder, expressed optimism for a swift settlement, but acknowledged that the present labor dispute resembles the 1994-95 strike, which lasted 7 1/2 months and resulted in the first World Series cancellation in 90 years.
MLB’s labor dispute sets the league’s owners against the players, with a third group keeping a wary eye on the proceedings: the fans. The general public is unlikely to sympathize with the owners and players’ public squabbles.
Even in the best of circumstances, fans want their baseball, and it was evident that fans were difficult to forgive in the aftermath of the 1994-95 strike. Some people never did.
This is hardly the greatest of times, owing mostly to the COVID-19 epidemic. The regular season in 2020 was significantly cut short and played in parks with no spectators. Last season was better, although several venues still had crowd capacity restrictions.
Now there’s a labor dispute. After a softball game on an artificial turf field along the Hudson River in Manhattan, the matter was on everyone’s mind.
Due to COVID-19, Pupo was unable to attend Diamondbacks games in 2020, thus he rolled his season tickets to 2021. Due he still didn’t feel safe going to games because of the epidemic, he rolled them back to 2022. Because of the lockout, there’s a potential that this season may be hampered as well.
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