The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Friday that safety netting at Dodgers Stadium would be extended down the first- and third-base lines ahead of the team's return home Monday.
With the upgrade, the Dodgers sought to provide safety to fans in attendance during the final month of the regular season, as opposed to waiting until the off-season to extend the netting.
"I had to study it," Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said, as reported by KCBSTV. "We took a lot of time, and we think we've come up with a solution that balances the desire for enhanced safety while still affording people the great comfort and vibe that coming to a Dodger game is."
The Los Angeles Times reported that the Dodgers already increased the height of the netting behind home plate and along the dugouts eight feet, reaching 33 feet, this month. The 33-foot net will extend an additional 124 feet down the baseline. It will stop at the elbow bent in front of the baseline seats, several rows from the foul poles.
The installation comes about a year after 79-year-old Linda Goldbloom died four days after she was hit in the head by a foul ball above the netting behind home plate. In June, the club said it was studying protective measures after a girl was hit in the head by a line drive beyond the netting down the first-base line. A boy also was hit by a line drive at Dodger Stadium during batting practice this season.
“The decisions to both raise and extend the nets at Dodger Stadium were made after extensive data analysis and consultation with both players and fans,” Kasten said in a statement cited by the Times.
All 30 Major League Baseball clubs were required to extend netting to at least the end of the dugouts before last season. The Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals and Houston Astros were the first teams to extend netting down the foul lines at their ballparks this season. The Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays are among the other organizations that have publicly committed to following suit, according to the Times.