MLB players vote to end lockout

After months of labor negotiations, Major League Baseball team owners and the players’ union have agreed in principle to a new contract. Union leaders confirmed the agreement to CBS News on Thursday, but the noted that the deal still needs to be ratified. Once that’s done, fans will get one step closer to seeing their favorite ball players on the field. 

The Major League Baseball Players Association, or MLBPA, and team owners have been under a nearly 100-day lockout since last year. Players signed a five-year employment contract with the league in 2017, but that collective bargaining agreement expired December 2. Since then, both sides have been arguing over a range of issues, chief among them being pay.

MLB generated a record $10.7 billion in revenue in 2019, according to Forbes. But that figure cratered to about $4 billion in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The average MLB player’s salary in 2021 was $4.1 million, down almost 5% from 2019, according to the Associated Press.

As recently as Wednesday, both sides weren’t seeing eye to eye. League commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday that both sides couldn’t sign a deal and the league had to cancel more games, pushing Opening Day to April 14. 

A new contract also means money will begin flowing to players and owners. Canceled games put teams at risk of losing ticket sales at the stadium, along with lost revenue from concession stands and merchandise shops. Based on salaries last year, which totaled just over $3.8 billion, MLB players stood to lose a combined $20.5 million for each day wiped off the 186-day regular-season schedule, the Associated Press reported. 

This is a developing story. It will be updated. 

Source : Cbs News