The Indians today announced they will be installing expanded safety netting around the field before next season. Spanning sections 140 through 164, the extended protection will run from the end of one dugout clear to the other.
Safety concerns over scorching foul balls and bats that slip loose from players' grips and fling, helicopter-style, into the crowd, have risen in recent years. Clubs have responded in various fashions — the Indians being among those that have been the most proactive. The team added extra netting across homeplate sections before the 2016 season, following recommendations set by Major League Baseball. The team says it will continue to use the best technology in the forthcoming expansion to minimize any disruptions to the view.
“We remain committed to delivering the best experience for our fans at Progressive Field,” Indians VP of Ballpark Operations Jim Folk said in a statement. “Safety is our No. 1 priority and these measures should balance that commitment to safety with the interactive nature of our game, something we know is also important to our fans.”