The New York Yankees Major League Baseball team has revealed plans to add further protective netting at Yankee Stadium for the start of the 2018 regular season.
The new netting has been introduced after a young girl was hospitalised after being struck by a ball at Yankee Stadium last September.
The increased coverage will include partially retractable netting attached to the roofs of both dugouts at the stadium, along with stationary netting extending beyond the far ends of the dugouts towards the venue’s foul poles.
The Yankees worked with architecture firm Populous on the project, along with netting company Promats Athletics.
In a statement, the Yankees added: “Netting attached to the roofs of both dugouts will extend to a height of nine feet above each dugout during games. The bottom portions of these nets will be upwardly retractable by up to three feet, allowing fans the opportunity to fully interact with players during batting practice when the protective batting cage is being employed around the home plate area of the field.
“Prior to the start of the game, the nets will connect to the dugout roof, where they will remain in place throughout the game.
“Beyond the dugout, netting will extend to Section 011 on the first-base side and Section 029 on the third-base side. The netting in these locations will rise to eight feet above the playing field (approximately 5.5 feet above the wall surrounding the field of play), and will remain in place from the start of batting practice through the end of the game.
“These sections of netting may be removed for soccer matches or other events held at Yankee Stadium.
“Dyneema fiber Ultra Cross 1.2 mm-wide knotless netting – the same as was used for Yankee Stadium backstop netting in 2017 – will be utilised for all netting in the 2018 season. Additionally, all netting will be ‘field green’ in colour to minimise its visible impact for those in attendance and viewers watching on television.”
Since the young girl was injured last year, a number of other MLB teams have added further netting.
Installation of Yankee Stadium’s new netting will begin in February and will be ready in time for the Yankees’ first home fixture of the season against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 2. A similar protective netting system is being fitted at George M. Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees’ spring training field in Tampa, Florida.
Image: Matt Boulton