The Baltimore Orioles are extending protective netting at Oriole Park at Camden Yards to nearly each foul pole, with installation to be completed by their September 5 home game.
Conversation about extended netting at ballparks has become more prominent in recent months, particularly following a May incident in which a young girl was injured by a foul ball during a game at Minute Maid Park between the Houston Astros and visiting Chicago Cubs. That has been followed by announcements from several Major League Baseball teams with plans to extend protective netting at their facilities. The Orioles previously indicated that they were planning to extend netting at both Oriole Park at Camden Yards and Ed Smith Stadium–their spring-training home in Sarasota, FL–and are now announcing firm details.
At Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the Orioles are extending protective netting to nearly each foul pole. Specifically, it extends from Section 6 down the right-field line through Section 70 down the left-field line, while rising to the same height of the existing backstop netting. On Thursday, the Orioles issued the following statement:
“In a continuing effort to create the most fan and family-friendly atmosphere in sports, this week at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, crews are extending protective netting at the same height of the existing backstop netting down each foul line to near each foul pole. The Orioles and the Maryland Stadium Authority, in conjunction with Populous and other experts in the field, researched all available options and performed due diligence to determine that this is the best and safest option for Oriole Park. The extended and raised protective netting will be in place prior to the club’s next home game on September 5 against the Texas Rangers.
“The Orioles will also extend protective netting to near the foul poles at Ed Smith Stadium, the Orioles’ year-round training complex in Sarasota, Fla., by the start of 2020 Spring Training.
“The safety and security of our fans is of the utmost importance to the Orioles as we continue cultivating a fun, fan-friendly, and affordable experience for everyone to safely enjoy Orioles Baseball.”
A few MLB teams have already completed extended netting projects at their facilities during the regular season, including the Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals, and Houston Astros, while the Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to raise and extend Dodger Stadium netting by early September. In addition, the Atlanta Braves are set to extend protective netting at SunTrust Park. Several other MLB teams have also publicly stated plans to extend protective netting at their current facilities in the near future, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, and Toronto Blue Jays.
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