December 06, 2017 01:28 PM
The above video accompanied a Sept. 22 story on Target Field's safety netting.
Already exceeding Major League Baseball recommendations, the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday announced the team will further extend the safety netting along Target Field foul lines.
The team said in a release it will raise the height of the existing netting from 7 feet to 9 feet and extend the netting beyond each dugout prior to the 2018 season. It will now reach further up each foul line to cover the entire Dugout Box seating areas, which spans sections 1-17.
"Since opening in 2010, Target Field has earned a reputation as one of the most intimate venues in all of sports, with lower level seats located closer to home plate than any other MLB venue," said Twins President and CEO Dave St. Peter. "With that reality in mind, we feel extending the ballpark's netting is in the best interest of our fans. In addition to ensuring fan safety, we are also committed to installing the best available netting product aimed at minimizing obstructed views for our fans."
Further, the Twins say the material will be crafted from "state-of-the-art technology, with thin strands and a knotless intersection to deliver a minimally obtrusive viewing experience," according to the release.
The new netting will also be tinged with the color green in an effort to make it blend with the playing field.
The team says it will also roll out new signage, ticket messaging and other means of communication to warn fans about the dangers of batted balls and bats entering the stands.
In September, a 2-year-old was injured by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium, in what has become the latest incident to renew the debate around Major League Baseball's guidelines for safety netting.
The ball that struck the child in New York came off Yankee hitter Todd Frazier's bat at 105 miles-per-hour. The girl was seated with her family in the sixth row of the stands.
A New York TV station reported at the time the child stayed in the hospital overnight for observation, but that she was expected to be okay.
Major League Baseball does not require safety netting at ballparks. But in 2015, the league recommended teams protect any seats within 70 feet of home plate, and that netting should extend to at least the home plate side of each dugout.
Following the September incident in New York, Commissioner Rob Manfred said there was still no timetable to require the protective netting, in part because different stadium designs pose a hurdle to creating a league-wide mandate, according to the New York Daily News.
Updated: December 06, 2017 01:28 PM
Created: December 06, 2017 12:39 PM
Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company