Major League Baseball has canceled the 2022 Opening Day and several early games during the regular season amid a labor dispute between players and the league.
Opening Day was originally scheduled for March 31, but MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Tuesday that it would not be happening as originally planned. The Major League Baseball Players Association and MLB leadership could not come to a collective bargaining agreement after nine straight days of negotiations. The first two series of games were canceled for each of the 30 MLB teams, accounting for 31 total canceled games and reducing each team’s schedule from 162 games to approximately 156 games at most this season. The canceled games range from March 31 through the first full week of April for the teams.
MLB players and owners have been at odds over how to divide up around $11 billion in annual revenue, and the deadline for a last-minute resolution came and went without an agreement. This is the first time in 27 years the league has had to cancel games over a labor dispute.
The previous collective bargaining agreement expired on Dec. 1, and the league locked players out of team facilities shortly after on Dec. 4. During the lockout, free agents have not been allowed to sign new contracts as well.
“We worked hard to avoid an outcome that’s bad for our fans, bad for our players and bad for our clubs,” Manfred said. “I want to assure our fans that our failure to reach an agreement was not due to a lack of effort by either party.”
“From the beginning of these negotiations, players’ objectives have been consistent — to promote competition, provide fair compensation for young players, and to uphold the integrity of our market system,” the MLB Players’ Union said in a statement. “Against the backdrop of growing revenues and record profits, we are seeking nothing more than a fair agreement.”