The Texas Rangers have added additional safety netting that extends the length of both dugouts.
The move is part of a league-wide initiative from Major League Baseball to keep fans safe from fast-moving baseballs and bats. MLB left it up to each team to determine where the new netting would be placed in their respective ballparks.
“We fully understand that it may take some time for fans to be accustomed to this change and that some fans may have a different preference for their ballpark experience,” said Rangers VP Rob Matwick. “We will do our best to accommodate the requests of any fan who is affected by the changes.”
The new netting will run from the edge of the current home base screen to the end of the dugout on both the first and third base side. The new netting will be about six feet high.
The Rangers said, based on availability, it will relocate fans who want to sit in one of the sections that has the safety netting. It also said fans who have season tickets can contact the team to see how the netting may affect their lower level seats.
After a study conducted by the league, MLB recommended in Dec. 2015 that all of its clubs lengthen netting in areas around home plate and the dugouts. Several fans were injured in MLB parks in 2015, most notably a Red Sox fan who was critically injured by a broken bat that flew into the first base seats at Fenway Park.