Despite spring training delay, baseball fans flock to South Florida

Major League Baseball fan has feeling lockout 'won't be resolved until St. Patrick's Day'
Empty seats at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter on Feb. 21, 2022.jpg
Posted at 4:48 PM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 17:37:11-05

JUPITER, Fla. — It's a wrap on a full week of negotiations between Major League Baseball players and owners, trying an end a lockout and start spring training.

No deal yet, but it seems the fans are still coming.

As the players marched back for another day of negotiations with owners, fans could only guess what was going on.

"It's not looking too good. The players vibes did not look very uplifting today, but I'm hoping for the best," said fan John Matthew.

Matthew just arrived in Jupiter from New York hoping to see his favorite team the Mets in Port St. Lucie. Even with no spring training baseball though, he decided to come here anyway.

"I'm not a big beach guy but yeah, I'll head over there," Matthew said.

It’s a choice many baseball fans are making: cancel travel plans over the baseball lockout or still try to make the best of it.

"Got season tickets, got an RV and campground and no baseball," said Gary Toberson of St. Louis, who decided to still make the trip. "Eat out, go to the beach, that kind of thing."

Local tourism officials said hotels are still doing gangbuster business despite the spring baseball delay, which may go on a lot longer than anyone expected.

"My gut tells me we won’t be resolved until St. Patrick's Day," said Ken Davidoff.

Davidoff covers baseball for the New York Post and said there is a Monday deadline when even more games will be lost.

"As long this gets resolved and they have a season, the plan is to have spring training in Florida and Arizona," Davidoff said.

Heading into the weekend, the negotiations will continue in Jupiter along with the hope that the players and the fans will be back at parks.