Joining the overdue trend around baseball, the Rays have officially announced they have extended the netting at their major league and spring training facilities to increase fan safety.
This announcement comes after the team took the time to research a new netting to improve visibility for fans as well.
The team statement is as follows:
The Tampa Bay Rays are committed to providing a safe and secure environment for each person who enters Tropicana Field and Charlotte Sports Park. We will be expanding the protective netting this season to the outside edge of the dugouts in both ballparks. All affected season ticket holders will be contacted in the coming weeks with more information.
Details on the new netting, via Marc Topkin are as follows:
#Rays will install a green knotless net that they say will provide better visibility than traditional black knotted net— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) January 31, 2018
Net extensions at #Rays Tropicana Field and Charlotte Sports Park will same height as current backstops, and will be fixed, so they can’t be dropped or raised during batting practice— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) January 31, 2018
#Rays will extend protective netting at Tropicana Field to outfield edge of dugouts. Also will do same at spring site in Port Charlotte. Almost other teams have made similar changes.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) January 31, 2018
This necessary change comes after a fan was critically injured by a foul ball at Tropicana Field in April 2016 that snuck through the protective netting that was in place. As noted above, the Rays are upgrading their netting for 2018.