The Cleveland Indians are planning to extend protective netting at Progressive Field, making them the latest Major League Baseball team to provide more coverage. The club’s project will be completed in time for the 2018 season.
Over the last several months–particularly in the period since a young girl was severely struck by a foul at Yankee Stadium in September–several Major League Baseball teams have announced plans to extend their protective netting in 2018. Among the clubs that have already unveiled plans to extend protective netting at their ballparks include the Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, and Milwaukee Brewers.
At Progressive Field, the Indians will extend the netting to the far ends of each dugout. This means that the netting will now cover an area that spans from Section 164 down the third-base line to Section 140 down the first-base line.
“We remain committed to delivering the best experience for our fans at Progressive Field,” Jim Folk, Indians VP of Ballpark Operations, said in a statement released by the club. “Safety is our No. 1 priority and these measures should balance that commitment to safety with the interactive nature of our game, something we know is also important to our fans.”
While the wave of announcements on extended protective netting have predominantly affected regular-season ballparks, plans to provide additional coverage are also in place at several spring training facilities. In addition to their project at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees also plan to extend the protective netting at Tampa’s George M. Steinbrenner Field. More recently, it was learned that the Pittsburgh Pirates will be increasing the range of the netting at LECOM Park, their spring training home in Bradenton.
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