MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins already had some of the most extensive protective netting in the Majors at Target Field, but they will extend it again for the 2018 season to further improve fan safety.The original backstop netting at the ballpark met Major League Baseball's guidelines, but the Twins opted to
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins already had some of the most extensive protective netting in the Majors at Target Field, but they will extend it again for the 2018 season to further improve fan safety.
The original backstop netting at the ballpark met Major League Baseball's guidelines, but the Twins opted to extend their netting prior to the 2016 season, adding netting above each dugout that measured seven feet high. With the new netting, it'll be extended to nine feet high and it will also be extended beyond the dugouts down both foul lines covering the entire dugout box seating area from Sections 1-17.
"Since opening in 2010, Target Field has earned a reputation as one of the most intimate venues in all of sports, with lower level seats located closer to home plate than any other MLB venue," Twins president Dave St. Peter said. "With that reality in mind, we feel extending the ballpark's netting is in the best interest of our fans. In addition to ensuring fan safety, we are also committed to installing the best available netting product aimed at minimizing obstructed views for our fans."
As St. Peter noted, the Twins have been proactive with netting because home plate is closer to the seats than any other Major League stadium. The club, though, is mindful of obstructed views, and all the netting will be new, using thin strands and knotless intersections. It'll also have a green hue to blend in better with the field.
The Twins will also continue to warn fans of the dangers of foul balls and bats entering the stands. It'll include warning messages via in-ballpark signage, messaging on tickets and other team-controlled platforms.
It's an issue that hits close to home for the Twins, as they were playing the Yankees in New York in late September when Todd Frazier hit a foul ball down the third-base line that struck a toddler in the face. It left Minnesota players such as Eduardo Escobar and James Dozier emotional during and after the game, and it's clear that players are in favor of extended netting at ballparks.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**.