The Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise is set to become the latest team to extend protective-netting areas at its home stadium amid growing concern over the safety of spectators.
On Sunday, a young girl was injured after being hit by a foul ball during the Royals’ game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium. The fan was taken to hospital and was expected to return home yesterday (Monday).
The Royals have now outlined plans to extend the protective netting at Kauffman Stadium to near the foul lines to avoid a repeat of Sunday’s incident.
The team’s vice-president of publicity Toby Cook told KSHB-TV: “Fan safety is No.1. The last thing we want is for somebody to get hurt at a baseball game.”
Cook added: “We knew that, at some point, it was very likely that we were going to extend the netting, but it’s not as easy as just throwing up netting.”
The Pittsburgh Pirates recently announced that they had engaged netting experts to extend protection at PNC Park to further down the baselines. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals and Chicago White Sox have previously committed to adding further protection at their respective ballparks.
On Sunday’s incident, Royals manager Ned Yost said, according to the Associated Press news agency: “I didn’t get a good look at it but I think it was a mom and a little girl and what do you do when a ball’s coming in like that? It’s just hard to protect yourself. The best thing that I think Major League Baseball could do and we could do is extend the netting.
“We don’t want any of our fans coming out and getting hurt. That’s the last thing we want. This is going to be a good thing when they get these nets extended.”
The recent announcements come after a California woman died in August 2018 after being hit in the head by a batted ball at Dodger Stadium.
Linda Goldbloom was a mother of three and grandmother of seven, and died on August 29, four days after watching a game between the Dodgers and the San Diego Padres.