Feb 11, 2022 - Sports

Sounds season unaffected by MLB lockout

View of the First Horizon Park scoreboard in the shape of a guitar.
View of the First Horizon Park scoreboard in the shape of a guitar. Photo: David E. Klutho/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

The upcoming Nashville Sounds season will start on time no matter the status of the ongoing labor dispute between MLB owners and big league players.

  • Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Thursday that owners will make a new labor agreement proposal and that as of now, spring training is still scheduled to start next week. But the impasse has cast doubt on whether the MLB regular season will still begin March 30 as scheduled.

How it works: Triple-A clubs like the Sounds are mostly made up of players not on the 40-man roster of their big league affiliates.

  • Sounds spokesperson Chad Seely says the only impact of the labor dispute on the club would be the handful of players typically on the roster who would not be able to play due to MLB's lockout.
  • "Any delay to Major League spring training will not have any impact on the Sounds," Seely says.

Why it matters: Business has been booming for the Sounds.

  • First Horizon Park led all minor leagues in average and total attendance last year — 436,868 fans, according to Seely.
  • Since the ballpark opened in Germantown in 2015, the Sounds have welcomed 3.2 million fans.
  • Aside from the 2020 season, which was completely wiped out due to the pandemic, the Sounds have never had an abbreviated season.

The intrigue: The upcoming season will be the longest in Sounds' history, with 150 games on the schedule after MLB added six games to the Triple-A slate.

  • And although Axios' Jeff Tracy reported last month that the Automated Ball-Strike system, or robot umps, are likely at some Triple-A ballparks, they will not be used at Sounds' home games, Seely says.

The latest: "I am an optimist," Manfred said Thursday in a story on MLB.com about the lockout. "I believe we will have an agreement in time to play our regular schedule."

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