At a time when every MLB team has already installed or is looking at extended netting, the Boston Red Sox are proposing new seating closer to the Fenway Park playing field — but are not committing to protective netting at this time.
The Red Sox annually unveil some sort of Fenway Park improvement, and in 2018 it appears that the team is proposing adding a row of seats down the left-field line closer to the field and a dugout suite down the first-base line. The dugout suite would be protected by fencing; right now there’s no talk about extended netting protecting the new left-field seats. That doesn’t mean there won’t be extended netting, but right now the Red Sox are saying that extended netting is still under study. The details came in a filing for ballpark improvements with the city. From the Boston Herald:
The drawings filed at City Hall show about 25 new seats in the new left field row, though Sox spokeswoman Zineb Curran wouldn’t say exactly how many. Curran also deferred comment when asked if the organization was concerned about whether bringing fans closer to the field could result in injuries.
“It would be premature to discuss the proposed changes at this stage as we are awaiting review and analysis from various city organizations,” Curran said. “We continue to evaluate options related to netting to ensure the game experience is both safe and enjoyable.”
Right now the Fenway Park netting extends only to the near end of the dugout. After a girl was injured by a foul ball this past September at Yankee Stadium, MLB officials began serious discussions about extending netting at all 30 ballparks. Through 2017 10 teams had extended netting to the far ends of the dugouts, and since the end of the season several teams (Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers) announced plans to extend netting. We expect more announcements of extended netting in coming weeks.
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