Extended netting is on tap at NBT Bank Stadium, as the Syracuse Chiefs (Class AAA; International League) have announced plans for the project.
Over the offseason, one of the major storylines when it comes to ballparks has been the efforts of teams to extended protective netting at their facilities. It is expected that all 30 Major League Baseball teams will have new protective netting on Opening Day, and numerous clubs at the minor league level have announced plans to extended their fan safety netting by the start of the 2018 season.
The Chiefs are now among the latest in the minors. Chiefs general manager Jason Smorol recently announced the extended netting, which will run to the outside ends of both dugouts. More from Syracuse.com:
The new netting will run from the outside end of the home dugout to the outside end of the visitor’s dugout and be 30 feet high. The netting is a welded seam netting with no tied knots to achieve 97 percent visibility.
“The new netting is very thin. It has no knots in it,” Smorol said. “I was in Tacoma (for a game) last year, and I couldn’t see the net. I was in the outfield and I looked back and I said, those people (behind the plate) are all going to die because there’s no netting there. And then I looked close and I was like, there is a netting there. It made me feel so much better. This is the kind of netting that we’re going to get.”
The Onondaga County Legislature approved the installation of the new netting in early February. Smorol said he did not know its cost.
Over the offseason, we have been tracking extended netting announcements at all levels of professional baseball. More of our coverage can be found here.