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Phils announce changes at Citizens Bank Park

Team to extend protective netting, ballpark will be entirely smoke-free
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies notified season ticket holders in an email last week about changes coming this season to Citizens Bank Park.

First, the Phillies said they will increase the amount of protective netting around the field.

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies notified season ticket holders in an email last week about changes coming this season to Citizens Bank Park.

First, the Phillies said they will increase the amount of protective netting around the field.

The netting will be raised from eight feet to 12 feet behind both dugouts. It will be extended to Sections 115 and 132. The Phillies also said they will use an upgraded green netting to minimize obstruction of views.

The Phillies extended protective netting before last season. The Phils said in April that nobody cancelled their season tickets due to the change and only a handful of season-ticket holders asked to be relocated.

The Phillies also said that Citizens Bank Park will be entirely smoke-free, citing feedback from fans and the growing number of smoke-free ballparks around Major League Baseball.

The Phillies have been renovating Citizens Bank Park since October. Phillies president Andy MacPhail discussed some of those changes that month, noting Philadelphia has the oldest ballpark in the National League East, despite opening in 2004. It precedes Nationals Park ('08), Citi Field ('09), Marlins Park ('12) and SunTrust Park ('17).

Some fans already saw large cranes installing LED lights, but there will be upgraded security features and a new public-address system. In terms of the fan experience, the Phillies have made no announcements, but they have filed permits with the city for a new kids activity area, which could include a Wiffle ball field, new concessions and a relocated Phillies Wall of Fame.

The Phillies also discussed adding a state-of-the-art meeting room for hitters and pitchers in the home clubhouse. Players and coaches previously held pregame meetings in the weight room.

"We think we have some very exciting things on the horizon," MacPhail said in October. "We're certainly going to do some of that for '18 and some of it in '19. We just don't know yet what's coming in '18 and what we have to defer until '19."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .

Philadelphia Phillies