CLEVELAND — After more than a dozen negotiating sessions failed to reach an agreement, Major League Baseball has canceled the beginning of its regular season. The delay means businesses in Cleveland preparing for an Opening Day boost may have to wait a little longer.
Since the announcement of the team's name change to Cleveland Guardians, the GV Art and Design crew has seen sales of their few Guardian-style items skyrocket.
"When that came out that said they changed their logo to the Guardians, of course our phones blew up," owner Greg Vlosich said.
Since that time, the team has been busy preparing new ideas for merchandise centered around the new name and logo to launch for the 2022 season. However, that season just got pushed back at least a week.
"We've been working the last month or two on some new ideas, designs, and new products," Vlosich told 3News. "A lot of that has been ordered, so we'll just sit on it or maybe we'll launch a little bit of it before the season starts. We'll see."
A big factor in determining when those products drop is how long this lockout goes. So far, it's the first two series of the season, with the players union and owners set to meet again soon to see if they can work something out and end MLB's first work stoppage since 1995.
"I'm really disappointed that we didn’t make an agreement," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday, "and I'm really committed to doing everything possible to get one."
But a prolonged wait could have a huge negative impact on cities like Cleveland.
"The reality is if it's delayed a long time, there's going to be a lot of businesses hurt by that," Vlosich admitted, "especially downtown."
Even though the delay to Opening Day will take a toll on GV Art's Guardian gear and push back some of the ideas they have planned, there is a silver lining: They can pivot some of their creative juices to the Cavaliers, who've been a surprise standout this NBA season.
"It does help that the Cavs are doing well right now, so that's always good," Vlosich said. "In Cleveland, there's always something going on."
Even so, GV Art, businesses downtown, and baseball fans are hoping it's only a quick pivot, and that sooner rather than later, you'll be hearing "Play ball!" at Progressive Field. When that time comes, Vlosich will ready.
"Hopefully when it happens, it'll be just as big," he said. "By the time it comes, we'll still see a spike. Whenever Opening Day is, it'll be cool for us."