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MLS season start delayed to April 17 after labor negotiations

MLS had previously announced its season start date for April 3 and training camp to begin on Feb. 22. New dates surrounding training camp are to be determined.

AUSTIN, Texas — MLS Commissioner Don Garber spoke with the media on Wednesday about the seven-year CBA agreement, the league's latest updates and more.

Garber announced that the MLS regular-season start date has been moved back to April 17 due to the labor agreement discussions. MLS had previously announced its season start date for April 3 and training camp to begin on Feb. 22. New dates surrounding the training camp are to be determined.

MLS will announce the 2021 regular-season schedule in the coming weeks.

In light of the NBA's news regarding playing the national anthem, Garber said that it was league policy to not play the national anthem when matches have no fans in attendance, but will play the song when fans are at games. 

Garber's comments come after the league announced its CBA agreement with the MLSPA on Feb. 8. Two main takeaways from the CBA agreement were: 

  • Two-year extension with expanded free agency: A two-year extension of the existing agreement; the new CBA runs through 2027.
  • 100% compensation in 2021: Players will receive 100% of their compensation in 2021, including salaries and bonuses.

RELATED: MLS, MLSPA finalize CBA agreement

Austin FC President Andy Loughnane told the media that Q2 Stadium's construction was slated to be finished by late March to early April. However, he added that the stadium would not be ready to host a home game until potentially early June.

"There are some things happening on ancillary, adjacent private land that are very important to the ecosystem of the stadium. There is private land that is being built off of Burnet [Road]. There is a traffic signal being installed off of Burnet and a traffic signal being installed off of Braker [Lane]. There is some Q2 signage. There's also some training that has to go on with staff and so, what I'm describing is under any circumstance, I don't anticipate our first MLS match taking place until early June," Loughnane said. 

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