We expect to see plenty of moves like this for the 2020 season: The Minnesota Twins will once again install extended netting at Target Field while adopting state-of-the-art materials.
The offseason work will extend netting down the foul lines, past the previous end at the far edge of the dugout. In addition, sections can be raised, allowing fans to interact with players before games. The netting used at Target Field in 2019 met MLB standards; the new installation will exceed that standard, which calls for netting to the end of the dugouts. (Read here for a little background as to why MLB has not mandated a specific extended netting configuration.) In addition, the Twins will adopt what’s considered state-of-the-art netting, featuring a green, knotless design. (We’ve watched games behind both green and black knotless designs and really couldn’t tell a difference; the theory is that a green design blends in better with the playing field, but the knotless design is by far the bigger factor in making the new netting more aesthetically pleasing.)
“When considering ways to improve the Target Field experience, enhancing fan safety is always a high priority,” Twins President and CEO Dave St. Peter said via press release. “Understanding every ballpark is unique in its geometry, we believe the new netting configuration is the right approach for Target Field.”
On Opening Day 2020, the following Target Field seating areas will be covered by fan safety netting: Dugout Box (Sections 1, 16 and 17); Dugout Box Infield (Sections 2-6 and 11-15); Thomson Reuters Champions Club (Sections 7-10); Diamond Box (Sections 103-104 and 124-125); Infield Box (Sections 105-108 and 120-123); and, Home Plate Box (109-119).
Last season extended netting became a major topic of discussions across all of baseball. The Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals made in-season changes to their protective netting on the heels of an incident in May in which a young girl was injured by a foul ball at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. And although MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred did not mandate the installation of specific extended netting configurations across Major League Baseball, we expect most teams to implement it in some form.
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