The New York Yankees announced details of new Yankee Stadium extended netting for 2018, which will run all the way down the line but partly retractable at the dugouts, giving fans the chance to interact with players before games.
According to a press release from the Yankees, netting attached to the roofs of both dugouts will extend to a height of nine feet above each dugout during games. The bottom portions of these nets will be upwardly retractable by up to three feet, allowing fans the opportunity to interact with players during batting practice when the protective batting cage is being employed around the home-plate area. Prior to the start of the game, the nets will connect to the dugout roof, where they will remain in place throughout the game.
You can see the extent of the extended netting in this 2018 Yankee Stadium ballpark seating plan (click for a larger version):
Beyond the dugout, netting will extend to Section 011 on the first-base side and Section 029 on the third-base side. The netting in these locations will rise to eight feet above the playing field (approximately 5.5 feet above the wall surrounding the field of play), and will remain in place from the start of batting practice through the end of the game. These sections of netting may be removed for soccer matches or other events held at Yankee Stadium.
Dyneema fiber Ultra Cross 1.2 mm-wide knotless netting — the same as was used for Yankee Stadium backstop netting in 2017 — will be utilized for all netting in the 2018 season. Additionally, all netting will be “field green” in color to minimize its visible impact for those in attendance and viewers watching on television.
During the design and engineering process, the Yankees consulted with the architecture firm Populous along with netting company Promats Athletics.
Installation will begin in February, and will be completed in time for the Yankees’ scheduled 2018 home opener on Monday, April 2 vs. the Tampa Bay Rays.
In addition, a similar protective netting system at George M. Steinbrenner Field is being installed and will be operational for the start of Yankees spring training (Tuesday, February 13).