Major League Baseball will lose regular season games for the first time in 27 years due to a lockout after talks between players and team owners collapsed.
The new season was scheduled to begin on 31st March but after 9 days of negotiations between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) ended with no resolution commissioner Rob Manfred said there was no other choice but to cancel the opening round of matches.
Manfred said “We worked hard to avoid an outcome that is bad for our fans, our players and our club. We're not going to be able to play the first two series of the regular season and those games are officially cancelled. Our failure to reach an agreement was not due to a lack of effort by either party. The players came here for nine days, they worked hard to try and make a deal and I appreciate their effort.”
The dispute relates to players pay as salaries have decreased by 4% since 2015 so players want agreed minimum salaries, but the parties could not come to an agreement on this amongst other issues such as the revenue percentage split between owners and players. It is estimated that players would lose out on $20.5million for each day that the season is cancelled.
The 2020 season was cut from 162 games down to 60 because of the Covid-19 pandemic but this season will see the first regular season games lost due to a lockout since the 1994-1995 lockout which resulted in 948 games being cancelled.