Twins, Indians Latest MLB Teams To Join Trend Of Extending Protective Netting At Ballparks
The Twins are expanding the protective netting at Target Field, and "not just by a couple of feet," according to La Velle Neal of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The netting "will now extend past both dugouts, past first and third bases and a few feet down the outfield foul lines." The 7-foot-high net over each dugout, put in place before the '16 season, "will be raised to 9 feet." The Twins "were contemplating adding netting" before a young girl was hit by a foul ball in September at Yankee Stadium. All the netting at Target Field "will be state-of-the-art material that will make the view as unobtrusive as possible" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/7). The AP noted lower-level seats at Target Field are "closer to home plate than in any other MLB venue." The Twins "described their netting as having thin strands, a knotless intersection and a combination of green hues to allow for better blending with the grass" (AP, 12/6).
PROGRESSIVE STEPS: In Cleveland, Joe Noga notes the Indians also "will extend safety netting behind home plate at Progressive Field to the ends of both dugouts." The team has "begun alerting season ticket holders who will be affected by the change." Currently, the safety netting at Progressive Field "extends to the near end of both dugouts in compliance with MLB's fan safety initiative" from '15. In '16 the Indians "extended the canopy netting above the home plate seating area." Indians officials said that they "intend to employ the latest netting technology to minimize the intrusion on the live game experience at Progressive Field" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 12/7).