Why did MLB put up Netting?
Baseball is a beloved sport in the United States. Whether it’s watching a game in person at the ballpark, rooting for your favorite team on TV, or playing a game in your backyard, it’s a sport that’s enjoyed by millions. Unfortunately, it’s also a sport where serious injuries can occur. That’s why Major League Baseball (MLB) has implemented safety netting in all of its stadiums.
For years, fans have been injured by foul balls and bat shards flying into the stands at MLB games. In recent years, there have been several high-profile incidents that have raised serious concerns about fan safety. In May 2019, a young girl was hit in the face by a 105-mph foul ball at a Houston Astros game. The ball shattered her skull and she was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery.
That incident, along with several others, prompted MLB to take action. In December 2019, the league announced that it would expand netting from the foul poles to the far ends of both dugouts at all 30 MLB stadiums. The decision was widely praised by fans and players alike, as it was a direct response to the safety concerns.
The netting that MLB has installed at its stadiums is top-of-the-line. It’s made from a high-grade polyethylene material that’s designed to be both durable and flexible. It also has a special UV coating to help protect against fading in the sun. The netting is designed to be lightweight and easy to install, which helps MLB stadiums get it up quickly and without too much disruption.
Benefits of Netting
The most obvious benefit of the netting is the increased safety it provides to fans. The netting is designed to contain most foul balls and bat shards, preventing them from entering the stands and injuring spectators. It also helps prevent balls from entering the dugouts, which can lead to dangerous collisions between players and fans.
In addition to safety, the netting also has other benefits. It helps reduce distractions for players, as it prevents them from having to worry about errant balls entering the dugouts. It also helps reduce the amount of time between innings, as the grounds crew no longer has to search the stands for balls that have gone astray.
Impact on Viewing Experience
One of the biggest concerns about the netting was that it would negatively impact the viewing experience for fans. Many people feared that it would block their view of the field and make it difficult to watch the game.
However, that hasn’t proven to be the case. The netting is designed to be as unobtrusive as possible and is usually only visible when there is a foul ball or a home run. In most cases, fans can still get a great view of the action without being distracted by the netting.
Costs of Netting
The installation of the netting is not cheap. MLB estimates that it will cost around $30 million to install the netting in all 30 stadiums. That figure could increase depending on the size and complexity of the stadiums.
MLB’s Prioritization of Fan Safety
The installation of the netting at MLB stadiums shows that the league is serious about fan safety. It’s a clear indication that MLB is willing to invest in the safety of its fans and take the necessary steps to prevent injuries. This is a stark contrast to other professional sports leagues, which have been slower to act on fan safety issues.
The installation of the netting has prompted several states to consider legislation mandating netting in all professional sports stadiums. In New York, for example, legislators have proposed a bill that would require all MLB, NBA, and NHL teams to install netting from foul pole to foul pole. This would ensure that all fans are adequately protected from errant balls and bat shards.
Netting as Industry Standard
The installation of netting at MLB stadiums has set a new industry standard for fan safety. It has encouraged other professional sports leagues to follow suit and has raised expectations for the safety of fans. This has the potential to have a lasting impact on the way that games are played and watched.
The installation of netting at MLB stadiums is a clear indication that the league is prioritizing the safety of its fans. The netting is designed to contain foul balls and bat shards, preventing them from entering the stands and injuring spectators. It also helps reduce distractions for players and reduces the amount of time between innings. The netting is a necessary step to ensure the safety of fans and has set a new industry standard for fan safety.
In conclusion, MLB’s decision to put up netting is an important step in creating a safer environment for fans and players alike. It’s a clear indication that the league takes fan safety seriously and is willing to invest in the safety of its fans.