Another team has announced plans for extended netting, as the Akron RubberDucks (Class AA; Eastern League) will install new netting at Canal Park. The netting will extend to the far end of both dugouts, and is set to be installed in time for the 2018 season.
At the major league level, all 30 teams will have new protective netting on Opening Day. Numerous minor league teams have announced similar plans, with the RubberDucks among the latest to do so.
The new netting at Canal Park will extend to between sections 19 and 20 on the third-base side and it will extend between sections 6 and 7 on the first-base side. The new netting will be in place for the RubberDucks’ 2018 Home Opener on Friday, April 13 at 6:35 p.m. vs. Trenton Thunder.
The current netting will be removed and replaced with a Field Green Ultra Cross Knotless Dyneema Ball Safety System Net. The new netting will have a minimal impact on the fan-viewing experience due to the thinner material, green color, and knotless construction.
“Fan safety is our top priority and paramount to having great, fun-filled experience at the ballpark,” said RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander. “We commend Mayor Horrigan and the City of Akron for being so proactive on the issue of fan safety. This new netting will help protect fans without taking away from the sightlines or gameday experience they have come to expect when they come to Canal Park.”
Installation will be performed by Promats Athletics from Salisbury, North Carolina, and it is expected to start the final week in March and be completed in time for the early-April RubberDucks workouts prior to the team’s Season Opener, April 5 at Altoona Curve.
Image courtesy Akron RubberDucks.