COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Braves spring training is scheduled to start in just 11 days, but it now appears more likely that it could be delayed.
On Friday, the players union rejected a call for a mediator to get involved in trying to end the baseball lockout.
With talks between the players and Major League Baseball seemingly stalled, Braves fans worry the lockout could delay the start of spring training or even the regular season.
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“I’d hate to see that happen,” Braves fan Gary Liu said. “I don’t know the business reasons behind the arm wrestling that they’re doing, who’s right, who’s wrong.”
Still riding the high of last year’s World Series championship, Liu is considering buying season tickets for this year, but said baseball’s ongoing lockout might make him think twice.
“About to call the rep as soon as we get done here and find out what the backup plan is,” said Liu. “Do we get a refund, or how does that work?”
MLB requested the help of a federal mediator in trying to end the contract dispute between the league and the players, but the players union rejected that proposal Friday.
“I think a big part of Atlanta is having the Braves play, getting to play. It would concern me. It really would,” Braves fan Carey Cunningham said.
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In a normal year, the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce says the Braves bring about $18 million in revenue to the county.
A shortened season could take away some of that revenue for the county and for the businesses at The Battery.
“That would be a bummer,” said Collin Masters, general manager of The Escape Game at The Battery. “We do anticipate having fans, and we want to have fans and guests come through.”
Channel 2 reached out to the Braves, but they said no one is available for comment.
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The lockout also is causing problems for the Braves front office. The team cannot sign any of their free agents, like Freddie Freeman, until the lockout comes to an end.
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