After a tragic foul-ball incident at Yankee Stadium last season, the Mariners will join more than 20 MLB clubs in extending safety netting to the outside edges of dugouts.
Following an MLB trend, protective netting at Safeco Field will be extended for the 2018 season to the outside ends of both dugouts to a height of 11 feet above the field, the Mariners said Wednesday. More than 20 clubs have added netting, or plan to do so, many moved to action last season when a little girl was severely injured by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium.
“Fan safety and ballpark experience are always top of mind for us,” Mariners president Kevin Mather said in a club release. “We believe we have a design that improves safety and uses the latest materials and industry standards to minimize the impact on sightlines.”
The netting will be attached to the front (field) edge of the dugout roofs. During the project, all of the protective netting will be replaced with a lightweight, open mesh that is dyed green to meet MLB’s recommendation to reduce visible impact on those seated behind the netting.
Prior to the 2016 season, the Mariners expanded Safeco’s protective netting to extend 70 feet beyond home plate on the first and third base sides, meeting MLB’s recommended minimum dimensions. At that time, netting protected fans seated in Sections 126 to 134. The expanded netting will now protect fans seated in Sections 122 to 138.