SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Major League Baseball (MLB) is looking at its second shortened season in the last three years, as players and owners continue to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. With the MLB season in limbo, many are wondering what this could mean for baseball in Springfield.
OzarksFirst spoke with team general manager Dan Reiter about how the MLB lockout affects first pitch at Hammons Field. Reiter says in a little more than a month, Springfield Cardinals baseball will start on time.
“This is what we’ve been trying to message everyone to let them know, ‘Hey. We are starting on time,” Reiter said. “Opening Day will be April 8. We will be here and ready to play in the community. Over the next month you’ll see a lot of fun releases about the things we have planned for this upcoming season. Minor League Baseball is going to play a very important role this year.”
Reiter tells OzarksFirst the MLB lockout will have no impact on the AA Red Birds. The team is getting ready for April, which is when they are scheduled to play Northwest Arkansas, Arkansas, Tulsa, and San Antonio.
As the MLB lockout continues, Reiter says Minor League Baseball has an opportunity to bring in more fans.
“We think that a lot of people they’re going to be excited for us to play,” Reiter said. “They’re going to want to come out. They’re going to want to see things in their local communities. I think Minor League Baseball is positioned very well to be important for all baseball fans.”
Up until April, Reiter told OzarksFirst that his front office will go through their own situation.
“Right now, March is chaos for us,” Reiter said. “But it’s a beautiful chaos of trying to get the stadium ready, to make sure all the promotions are set, to make sure the fans know what’s going on. I think a lot of people don’t know. I think sometimes here when you’re in the front office, we live this, we breathe this day in, day out. We’re prepared to play on April 8, but I think a lot of people are surprised. But we’re going to be here. We’re going to be great entertainment for families. We’re going to be great entertainment for families. We’re going to be a great place for businesses to reconnect with each other and their employees. But on April 8, baseball will be played in Springfield, Missouri.”
Hammons Field is scheduled to host 69 Springfield Cardinals games this season.