All MLB parks will extend protective netting by Opening Day
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By Opening Day all parks will have netting extended to at least the far ends of the dugout, commissioner Rob Manfred stated.
“Providing baseball fans with a variety of seating options when they come to the ballpark, including seats behind protective netting, is important,” Manfred said via a statement. “Major League Clubs are constantly evaluating the coverage and design of their ballpark netting and I am pleased that they are providing fans an increased inventory of protected seats.”
MLB made the extended-netting recommendation in 2015, but not all teams did it.
The Cubs announced last September that they would extend the netting for the 2018 season, and the White Sox made a similar announcement last week at SoxFest.
Several incidents in recent years along with the prevalence of cellphone use at games helped lead to the change.
Last season a fan sued MLB after being blinded by a foul ball at Wrigley Field.
At Yankee Stadium, players were visibly shaken when a foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier struck a toddler and shattered bones in her face.
Reaction on social media was mixed:
How about fans get off their phones and watch the game?
— Brian Johnsen (@brianjohnsen40) February 1, 2018