The Pittsburgh Pirates Major League Baseball franchise is set to become the latest team to extend the protective netting area at its home ballpark.
In a statement, the Pirates said that netting experts have been engaged to extend the protection at PNC Park further down the baselines.
The team said that it is “committed to developing the right plan” for PNC Park, which saw its protective netting extended to the ends of the dugouts in 2017.
It is hoped the latest extension will both increase fan safety and preserve and enhance the overall game-day experiences. More information on the Pirates’ plans will be revealed once the team has finalised its plans.
The Pirates’ announcement comes on the back of other MLB teams making similar pledges. Last week, the Los Angeles Dodgers committed to extending the netting at Dodger Stadium following another incident of a fan being injured by a foul ball.
There is a growing awareness of the dangers of foul balls at MLB stadia, and the recent announcements come after it emerged that a California woman died in August 2018 as a consequence of being hit in the head by a batted ball at Dodger Stadium.
Linda Goldbloom, a mother of three and grandmother of seven, died on August 29, four days after watching a game between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres. Deaths have been rare at MLB games but injuries from foul balls are commonplace. Last year marked the first season in which all 30 MLB teams had protective netting extending from behind home plate to at least the far ends of both dugouts to protect especially vulnerable sections of stadiums’ lower bowls.