Travel agencies

Local sports travel agencies worried about MLB lockdown | Poconos and Coal Region

It’s a potential curveball against an industry that’s already seen some tough knocks.

“There is frustration,” said John Bickelman, owner of Gold Glove Sports Tours in Schuylkill Haven.

“It’s been closed for all of 2020 and half of 2021,” Bickelman said of the sports trips. “This upcoming baseball season will be the first regular, quote-unquote baseball season we’ve had in two years, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen either because of the lockdown.”

Bickelman is closely monitoring the ongoing baseball talks related to the current Major League Baseball lockdown.

With spring training games already canceled in March, the sports travel industry fears the regular season could also be affected.

“If they don’t do anything this week, I guess it will impact the first week or two of the season,” Bickelman said.

Even if a partial season rolls around, the appearance of ongoing talks could still hurt business.

“Especially after going through what’s happened in the last two years,” Bickelman said, “it could hurt. It could hurt sports travel. People will just throw up their arms and say, ‘I’m not more interested.'”

Some good news locally, though, as the lockout won’t impact minor league action — and the Fightin Phils.

“We’ll be good to start on Friday April 8,” said Emily Messina, with the Reading Fightin Phils. “The Somerset Patriots, affiliates of the Yankees, are coming to town so it’s going to be a great weekend. So no matter what happens with the major leagues, we’ll be ready to go here in Reading.”