Braves fans and Cobb County businesses want MLB dispute resolved
The Atlanta Braves' upcoming season hangs in the balance as Major League Baseball owners and players continue a dispute over pay.
After a meeting Tuesday didn’t result in an agreement, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Opening Day will be canceled along with the first six games of the 2022 season. The lockout has been ongoing since the previous collective bargaining agreement expired Dec. 1, 2021.
Braves fans like Emily Eubanks are wondering when the lockout will end. She said she doesn’t want to see the Braves lose momentum over the dispute.
“Hopefully they will be able to come to some sort of agreement so we can quickly get back to business, which is them playing and winning,” Eubanks said. "That’s what we want."
Now, local businesses are worried the cancellations will impact the local economy. So far, all the canceled Braves games have been away games, and the home opening against the Cincinnati Reds on April 7 is still scheduled to continue.
Cobb County business owner Ellen Thompson told WSB-TV her restaurant gets at least 10% more business on game days. But Kennesaw State professor of economics JC Bradbury said people are likely to spend their money elsewhere in the area even if the whole season is canceled.
“Most spending at sporting events is simply a transfer of other local spending," Bradbury said. "So if people can’t go to baseball games, they’ll go shop more at stores, they’ll go out to restaurants more, they’ll do other things."
This is the first time MLB has canceled Opening Day since a 1994 labor strike which lasted over 200 days.