The Wilmington Blue Rocks (High A; Carolina League) have extended protective netting at Frawley Stadium, running it to the end of the seating areas down both foul lines.
With this latest extension, Frawley Stadium safety netting now stretches from behind home plate to almost 200 feet down each foul line, covering every fixed seat in the ballpark. The Blue Rocks and Delaware Stadium Corporation employed Empire Netting to spearhead the project. They in turn used dyneema netting technology, which is Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, known in the industry as the ultimate in reliability and visibility. The fiber is used in many applications from bullet-proof vests and military applications to fishing lines, marine ropes and sports products.
“Extending the netting again was an easy decision for us because nothing is more important to us than the safety of our great fans,” said the team’s managing partner, Dave Heller. “This will help parents to enjoy the game without having to worry about the well-being of their children, while at the same time preserving the great sightlines and intimacy of Blue Rocks baseball.”
This marks the second time the Blue Rocks and Delaware Stadium Corporation have taken the proactive step of extending safety netting beyond the requirements of the Carolina League. Before the 2018 campaign, the club pushed its protective netting from the area immediately behind home plate to the outer edges of each dugout.
The net improvements are part of a half-decade long push to improve fan safety at Frawley Stadium. Prior to the 2017 season, the Blue Rocks worked with Delmarva Power to complete an LED conversion of the parking lot lights at Frawley Stadium, becoming the first Advanced-A team in the country to install both LED field lights and LED parking lot lights.
In 2016, the Blue Rocks and DSC installed new flooring on the concourse and restrooms, which provided better and safer footing. In 2015, the Blue Rocks and the DSC worked together to replace every seat in the seating bowl, including replacing aluminum bleachers with new individual seats with armrests and cupholders. The team has also posted additional signage reminding fans to beware of balls and bats, and communicates increased safety warnings via public address announcement during all games.
“When considering ways to improve the Frawley Stadium fan experience, enhancing fan safety is always a top priority,” said Blue Rocks general manager Andrew Layman. “Understanding every ballpark is unique in shape, we believe the new configuration of our netting is the right approach for Frawley Stadium.”
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