The Chicago White Sox will extend the protective netting at Guaranteed Rate Field, with the installation set to be complete for the 2018 season.
Numerous teams across Major League Baseball have announced plans to extend protective netting at their ballparks for 2018, with the White Sox among the latest to do so. In addition to extending the protective netting at Guaranteed Rate Field, the White Sox will also provide more netting at Camelback Ranch, the spring training venue they share with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The extended netting at Guaranteed Rate Field will run to the far ends of the dugouts. More from The Chicago Tribune:
The Sox were one of the few remaining teams in the MLB not to announce plans to extend the netting but at a team organizational meeting Friday it was determined they will do so before the home opener April 5 against the Tigers.
The netting at Guaranteed Rate Field will extend to the far end of each of the dugouts, to Sect. 122 on the first-base line and Sect. 142 down third.
“With what has been happening in major-league baseball over the last couple of years we’re concerned with fan safety,” Vice President of Communications Scott Reifert said before the opening of SoxFest 2018 at the Hilton Chicago. “We were waiting for the architecture and engineering drawings before we made a decision. They presented three or four options (Friday) and that’s the one we decided on.”
Over the last several months–particularly in the period since a young girl was severely struck by a foul at Yankee Stadium in September–there has been a steady rise in the number of teams that are extending the netting at their ballparks. Besides the White Sox, several other teams will extend netting at their regular-season homes, including the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers.
Camelback Ranch is also the latest spring training venue with plans for extended netting. Netting for spring training games is also being extended at Ed Smith Stadium, Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, Steinbrenner Field, Hammond Stadium and LECOM Park.
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