MLB negotiations stall out, downtown Denver businesses could be collateral damage

2022-2023 season seems unlikely to start on-time
MLB negotiations stall out, downtown Denver businesses could be collateral damage
Posted at 5:29 PM, Feb 28, 2022

DENVER — The fate of this year's Major League Baseball season is in limbo. MLB owners and the Player's Association can't come to an agreement over money. However, those impacted the most could be the people who rely on the revenue Rockies baseball brings in to downtown Denver.

At Milk Market, one block down from Coors Field, acting general manager Jake Humphreys says baseball season is a huge money maker.

“Opening Day’s usually one of our biggest days of the year,” Humphreys said. “It brings in a crowd that fills the restaurant up twice over - before and after the game.”

He says the idea of a lockout this season could hit hard.

“Especially our staff,” Humphreys said. “They go above and beyond to make sure everyone has the best experience they can.”

Down the street at Wynkoop Brewery, server Drake Horner says no baseball means no savings.

“It’s scary, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Horner said. “On game day, that’s when we make our money. I go to grad school, I pay rent - I need it to pick up. We get a post-game rush, a pre-game rush - it’s how we save up money for the slow season.”

Broncos insider and former Rockies beat writer Troy Renck says one of the main sticking points in the negotiations is more money for younger players.

“They want more money for minimum salaries,” Renck explained. “They want more money for players of zero to two years experience, the best players of zero to two experience. They don’t think the players should have to wait until that fifth year to make big money. They want the best young players to get money sooner because their career window is short.”

Renck says it’s also about increasing the salary threshold to encourage big market teams to spend more on good players. He says what’s at risk for baseball is losing fans over greed.

“You can’t kill the romance of the game by taking away spring training,” Renck said. “That’s where you create new fans. People take vacations, you have the interaction, the autographs.”

Fans like Robert would hate to miss the action.

“I love getting down to games,” he said. “I live nearby, so I hope we can get them started on-time and find a resolution. It’s a big bummer.”

“Absolutely,” Horner said. “Please. Help us out. Get a deal done.”