The Chicago Cubs are exploring the idea of extending Wrigley Field’s protective netting, but caution that a final decision has not been made.
Conversation about extended netting at ballparks has become prominent in recent months, following a May incident in which a young girl was injured by a foul ball off the bat of the Cubs’ Albert Almora Jr. during a road game at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. Since then, several teams around Major League Baseball have either have extended protective netting at their ballparks or announced plans to do so in the near future.
Currently, the Cubs say that they are “exploring” the idea of extending Wrigley Field’s protective netting, but have not made a final decision. The organization notes that, in researching the idea, it has various intricacies of Wrigley Field’s design to consider, including the unique slope and pitch of the ballpark’s field walls. More from the Chicago Tribune:
“We are currently exploring and researching expansion of protective netting,” team spokesman Julian Green said by email. “No decision has been made to date.
“Given the pitch and slope of our field walls, which are not a straight line, there is a bit more complexity to installing and securing protective netting to the foul pole. We will review all available options to determine the safest and enjoyable environment for our fans.”
“While there are some teams that have moved faster than others,” Green explained, “we have to ensure any solution we explore at Wrigley Field can be installed and secured properly given the configuration of our field walls, which are unique given our landmark status.”
In 2018, all MLB teams were required to install extended netting to the end of the dugouts, and the Cubs did so at both Wrigley Field and Sloan Park, their spring-training venue in Mesa, AZ. A few teams went farther at the time, however, and the Chicago White Sox took a significant step last month by completing the installation of protective netting at Guaranteed Rate Field that runs from foul pole to foul pole. The Washington Nationals also extended their protective netting at Nationals Park last month, taking it nearly to the foul poles.
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