The Minnesota Twins will extend the netting at Target Field well beyond the ends of the dugouts for the 2018 season, as the team exceeds the recommendations from Major League Baseball.
In 2016 the Twins extended netting from the interior end of the dugouts to the far end. In 2018, that netting will be expanded to beyond the dugouts, down both foul lines covering the entire Dugout Box seating area (Sections 1-17).
“Since opening in 2010, Target Field has earned a reputation as one of the most intimate venues in all of sports, with lower level seats located closer to home plate than any other MLB venue,” Twins President & CEO Dave St. Peter said. “With that reality in mind, we feel extending the ballpark’s netting is in the best interest of our fans. In addition to ensuring fan safety, we are also committed to installing the best available netting product aimed at minimizing obstructed views for our fans.”
The new netting is also being touted as state of the art, with thin strands and a knotless intersection to deliver a minimally obtrusive viewing experience. Additionally, the new netting will be composed of a combination of green hues to allow the netting to blend with the playing field and provide greater visibility.
According to a team press release, the Twins will continue to implement a communication plan to warn fans about the dangers posed by batted balls and bats entering the stands and the need to pay attention to the action on the field during each at-bat. This plan will include warning messages via in-ballpark signage, messaging on tickets and other team-controlled platforms.
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, Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers.
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