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Tigers to upgrade netting at Comerica Park

Club has not decided on exact dimensions of any extensions
MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- The Tigers are making changes to the protective netting they use at Comerica Park. It's just a matter of how big those changes are.

At the very least, the type of netting that protects fans behind home plate will be different, and it will likely cover more area than it did last year. How far has yet to be determined.

DETROIT -- The Tigers are making changes to the protective netting they use at Comerica Park. It's just a matter of how big those changes are.

At the very least, the type of netting that protects fans behind home plate will be different, and it will likely cover more area than it did last year. How far has yet to be determined.

"We've decided to extend the netting, basically for the comfort and the safety of the fans," general manager Al Avila told members of the Detroit sports media Wednesday during his annual visit to their winter luncheon.

The Tigers had a prototype of new netting running to the end of each dugout at Comerica Park earlier this week. Avila said he sat behind home plate to check it out and was impressed, not just by its safety, but its visibility.

"The netting is great. It's 10 times better than we had," Avila said. "The netting that we had, which I hated, was very thick, and quite frankly, it was not the best view. This netting, which I think you guys are going to love, it's very thin. It's kind of a greenish color, so it blends in with the grass and the background. As you sit there, it's almost transparent, where it doesn't really affect your vision, yet you're still behind a net so you're going to be safe. So I think we have the best of both worlds."

Though the prototype extended to the end of each dugout, a Tigers spokesperson said the extension was for evaluation purposes, and that no dimensions have been finalized.

"There are things that we're looking at maybe beyond [the end of the dugouts]," Avila said.

The Tigers are among many Major League teams that have either announced changes to the protective netting or have plans to do so. The club announced in September that its ballpark operations department was working on a plan to extend the netting in time for the 2018 season in conjunction with Major League Baseball.

"We've been studying this. Major League Baseball has been studying this," Avila said Wednesday. "To this day, we've always adhered to the recommendations of Major League Baseball."

The Tigers were in compliance with the most recent MLB guidelines before they were announced two years ago.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers