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Mariners to extend netting at Safeco for '18

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- Joining a growing number of teams around the Major Leagues seeking to provide additional protection for fans, the Mariners on Wednesday announced details of their plan to further extend protective netting behind home plate at Safeco Field for the 2018 season.

The new netting, which will be in place by Opening Day, will extend to the outside end of both dugouts at a height of 11 feet above the playing surface. Installation will begin in March and will be completed in time for the season opener against the Indians on March 29.

SEATTLE -- Joining a growing number of teams around the Major Leagues seeking to provide additional protection for fans, the Mariners on Wednesday announced details of their plan to further extend protective netting behind home plate at Safeco Field for the 2018 season.

The new netting, which will be in place by Opening Day, will extend to the outside end of both dugouts at a height of 11 feet above the playing surface. Installation will begin in March and will be completed in time for the season opener against the Indians on March 29.

The Mariners consulted with Major League Baseball and HOK, a global architectural firm, on design and engineering for the project, which was tentatively announced late last season.

"Fan safety and ballpark experience are always top of mind for us," Mariners president Kevin Mather said. "We believe we have a design that improves safety and uses the latest materials and industry standards to minimize the impact on sightlines."

The new netting will be attached to the front edge of the dugout roofs and the entire net will be replaced with a new lighter-weight, green-dyed mesh that meets MLB's recommendation for the best viewing for fans.

Prior to the 2016 season, the Mariners expanded the Safeco Field netting to 70 feet beyond home plate down both baselines to meet MLB's recommended minimums at that time. That process protected fans in Sections 126-134. The new extended netting will now protect everyone seated in Sections 122-138.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners