March 3, 2011 / 12:14 AM / 7 years ago

Factbox: Work stoppages in major U.S. professional sports

(Reuters) - A list of work stoppages in major U.S. professional sports.


1987 - The NFL brought in replacement players for a strike, which covered 24 days (Sept 22-Oct 15). One week of season (14 games) was canceled and replacement players participated in three other weeks (42 games). While owners all but broke players union, the players scored in court, eventually winning unrestricted free agency.

1982 - Strike lasted 57 days (Sept 21-Nov 16) with season shortened from 16 to nine games per team, a loss of 98 games. Players were unhappy with revenue distribution after owners signed a five-year, $2.1 billion television contract. New deal gave players retirement severance packages, five-figure bonuses and modest increases in salaries, but their pay continued to lag behind other U.S. professional sports.

1974 - Players went on strike for 44 days in July and August in a bid for guaranteed payment of salaries. They eventually gave up and took their case to courts. No games were canceled.

1970 - Players took strike vote on July 30 but the stoppage ended when the two sides reached agreement on Aug 3. Minimum salary for long-term players increased to $13,000.

1968 - Owners locked out players for two weeks during training camp, then players struck briefly over pension benefits. Long-term players were guaranteed a minimum salary of $10,000 as part of first NFL collective bargaining agreement.

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1994 - The 232-day strike over two seasons (Aug 12, 1994 to April 2, 1995) led to 938 games canceled and for the first time since 1904, the World Series was not played. Owners wanted a salary cap and elimination of salary arbitration, but gained neither. The new agreement did include revenue sharing for teams and a luxury tax on big-spending franchises.

1990 - The 32-day lockout (Feb 15-March 18) resulted from disagreements over free agency and salary arbitration. It cost baseball much of spring training. Opening day was pushed back a week and the season extended to allow for a full 162-game schedule. The new agreement raised minimum player salaries to


1985 - Two-day players’ strike (Aug 6-7) ended after attempts to change salary arbitration were dropped. Twenty-five games were re-scheduled and minimum salaries climbed to


1981 - The 50-day strike (June 12-July 31) cost Major League Baseball 712 games. Owners failed in their demand for direct compensation for free agents leaving a team.

1980 - Players struck April 1-8 during spring training over free-agency compensation. Preliminary agreement called for issue to be reconsidered the following season.

1976 - Spring training lockout covered March 1-17 with free agency the key issue. After a federal judge ruled pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally were free agents, MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn opened spring camps. Owners and players later reached agreement that established free agency.

1973 - Owners locked out players for 12 days (Feb 14-25) during spring training, cancelling 86 spring games. New agreement established salary arbitration and minimum salaries rose to $15,000.

1972 - Strike lasted from April 1-13 with 86 games canceled. Players gained the right to salary arbitration and owners agreed to increase pension fund payments.

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1998 - League games were canceled for the first time because of work stoppage. The 191-day lockout began July 1, 1998 and ended Jan 6, 1999, eliminating 928 games with the season reduced from 82 games to 50 per team. Salaries were capped at $9 million-$14 million and a rookie pay scale was introduced. Fans’ interest tumbled.

1996 - Only a few hours were needed to settle a July 11 lockout. Owners and players quickly resolved their differences over $50 million in television revenue.

1995 - Owners imposed lockout that lasted 74 days (July 1-Sept 12) after players refused to vote on a new agreement that included a luxury tax. Owners dropped the tax in subsequent agreement but gained the option of discarding the agreement after three years if player salaries exceeded 51.8 per cent of basketball-related income. No games were canceled because the lockout came in the off-season.

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2004 - For the first time a major North American sport canceled an entire season because of a labor dispute. The 310-day lockout began Sept 16, 2004 and ended July 22, 2005. Settlement brought a salary cap with players guaranteed 54 percent of revenues, a salary floor, new free-agency rules and guaranteed player contracts. On the ice, rules changes produced faster, higher scoring games and the shootout made its debut.

1994 - Lockout covered 104 days (Oct 1, 1994-Jan 13, 1995), costing the league 468 games and its All-Star contest. The season was reduced from 84 to 48 games. Major issue of salary cap was never resolved although a rookie salary cap was installed.

1992 - Strike lasted 10 days (April 1-10). The 30 missed games were rescheduled. Players wanted control of their marketing rights, including trading cards, and received it as part of a settlement.


Compiled by Gene Cherry. Editing by Steve Ginsburg; To query or comment on this story email

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