This is the time of year where post-season prognostications are made. As spring training begins, Major League Baseball fans across the country begin to wonder if this is the year their favorite team can win the pennant and make it to the World Series. The "national pastime" is more than just sports entertainment, it impacts thousands of workers in cities across the country.
Major League Baseball scheduled Opening Day for April 1, but two states have already scored with spring training underway.
Every year, spring training divides the 30 MLB teams into two squads. Half of the teams travel to Florida as part of the Grapefruit League, while the other 15 teams play in Arizona as part of the Cactus League.1
Before the pandemic, the Cactus League would generate $644 million in revenue and create more than 6,000 jobs for the stadiums across central Arizona. Florida would see a comparable economic benefit.1,2
This year, the numbers will be down as COVID restrictions remain in place. But it’s a home run compared to last year when the spring training was shut down, which delayed the start of the MLB season until July.1,2
Seeing the impact MLB has on two states is an excellent reminder to keep supporting your local businesses that continue to manage through the pandemic.
When possible, consider order delivery or takeout directly from local restaurants, and if you can, leave a bigger tip than usual to help support their staff. Also, you might want to buy a few gift cards at your local sandwich shop, restaurant, or another favorite spot. You can use them on future visits or give them away to friends and family.
In uncertain times, the true strength of our communities can shine. By doing what we can to support each other, we can begin to build a way forward.
1. FoxBusiness.com, March 12, 2021
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