Facing increased pressure to better protect fans at games, the Los Angeles Dodgers are among the many MLB teams taking initiative by increasing up safety measures at their home ballparks.
Over the last three years, there has been a rise in foul balls striking fans at games and causing injuries — some more serious than others. A bevy of clubs have responded by extending the netting in their respective stadiums.
The Dodgers have twice extended the netting at Dodger Stadium and are now in the process of doing so a third time. The organization announced their plans earlier in June after a young woman was struck in the head by a Cody Bellinger line drive, and later, transported to a local hospital for precautionary testing.
Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten offered an update on the process and revealed that further extended netting at Dodger Stadium is expected to be completed by the end of August, via J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:
The multi-phase process began with heightening the existing nets – behind home plate, connecting the two dugouts – by an additional eight feet. Team president Stan Kasten expects this phase to be completed this week, during the team’s road trip to Miami and Atlanta.
In the second phase, nets will be extended down the first- and third-base lines to the point where each wall angles toward the outfield corners. Kasten said that phase will be completed during the Dodgers’ trip to San Diego and Arizona at the end of the month.
The Dodgers first extended the screen behind home plate at Dodger Stadium in accordance with recommendations from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. Then in February 2018, the club extended netting to the ends of each dugout, both at Dodger Stadium and Camelback Ranch.
Other teams that have already committed to extending protective nettings all the way down or close to the foul poles at their respective home stadiums include the Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals.
Bellinger and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts are among the many notable figures in the organization that support extending the netting at Dodger Stadium.
Rich Hill has also called for increased netting at all 30 MLB stadiums in the wake of multiple fan incidents that have taken place this season.