OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Major League Baseball is in the midst of a lockout, imposed by owners. The league is currently in collective bargaining negotiations between players and owners. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has cancelled the first few games of the season as a result.
While MLB is on old, the MiLB will be playing baseball this season, on schedule. The lockout doesn't affect the MiLB very much. For Omaha, that means fans will be able to see the Storm Chasers take the diamond in April.
"We’re still going to have our home opener here at Werner Park on April 12, we’re still going to have a 2022 season and we’re really exited about it," Jake Eisenberg, play by play broadcaster for the Storm Chasers said.
The league largely relies on players who are not under Major League contracts.
The only way the lockout would affect the Minor League is if some players are moved to 40-man rosters. The Storm Chasers have yet to receive the official roster from their MLB affiliate, the Kansas City Royals, but they believe most players Storm Chasers will be available to play in Omaha.
Minor League officials say the collective barganing situation is bittersweet. They say it's unfortunate for players, but with the possibility of Major League games being cancelled, the Minor League may be the highest level of professional baseball being played come spring, meaning they may get more eyes on them this season.
"If there is any sort of silver lining in reality his awful situation for the game of baseball it’s that we might have a bigger spotlight maybe a Little more excitement understanding the players we’re going to have here and the fact that we’re going to be playing baseball," Eisenberg said.
"It could be a good thing for us, we’d be the only professional baseball in the area playing at that time. I know a lot of Kansas City fans are interested in their prospects that some of them could be playing here. We say come on up and see the game here in Omaha and give us some tourism dollars too," Laurie Schlender, Vice President and General Manager of the Storm Chasers said.
Whether Major League does lay, or not, the Storm Chasers are ready to play ball and show fans a good time, especially after a few years of uncertainty.
"This one has been a season filled with a ton of excitement and also a lot of relief that we know opening day at Werner Park will be April 12 no matter what, which is not something we could say the past couple years. So it’s relief we are preparing for a season we know is coming," Eiseneberg said. "[Fans] can expect a top level of baseball that is going to be played. They can expect to see the future stars of their team they can expect a fun environment that's both for kids parents baseball fans everyone."
Tickets for the Storm Chasers' season are now available on www.milb.com/omaha