Major League Baseball cancels first week of preseason games
Published: Feb 21, 2022 07:06 PM
Major League Baseball, caught in fruitless talks on a new deal with its players union for nearly three months, called off the first scheduled week of pre-season games on Friday.

The league said in a statement that preseason contests in Arizona and Florida, which were set to begin on February 26, won't now start before March 5.

The move came two days after what should have been the start of preseason training camps for clubs, but players remain locked out by club owners following the end of the prior collective bargaining agreement on December 1, 2021.

"We regret that, without a collective bargaining agreement in place, we must postpone the start of spring training games until no earlier than Saturday, March 5," MLB said in a statement.

"All 30 clubs are unified in their strong desire to bring players back to the field and fans back to the stands.

"We are committed to reaching an agreement that is fair to each side."

Fans who had purchased tickets to games that will not be played will be offered full refunds among other options.

A day after the MLB Players Association presented an ­updated proposal to club owners, MLB said it will return to the negotiating table on Monday.

"Members of the owners' bargaining committee will join an in-person meeting with the players association and remain every day next week to negotiate and work hard toward starting the season on time," an MLB statement said.

MLB has set a deadline of February 28 for a deal to be reached to ensure that the MLB 2022 regular season ­begins as scheduled on March 31.