Going out to the ballpark to catch a baseball game played by your local professional team can be a fun way to spend an afternoon or an evening. However, while enjoying your peanuts and cracker jack, watch out for foul balls. In 2014, Bloomberg reported that foul balls injure approximately 1,750 fans per year. Another number indicates that there were 14,000 more foul balls hit in 2018 than in 1998. People are not just being hit in the head and staying to finish the game. People are losing their eyes and getting traumatic brain injuries as well as post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reports that the Atlanta Braves are considering extending the netting to protect fans from foul balls at SunTrust Park.
In recent weeks, seven of the thirty major league baseball teams announced plans to extend netting. The netting is intended to protect fans sitting behind home plate and behind the dugouts from foul balls and baseball bats that have split.
When SunTrust Park opened in 2017, the netting installed reached to the far end of both dugouts. Now, the Braves are considering extending the netting to better protect fans.
The teams that have decided to extend the protective netting to the outfield foul ball poles include the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Washington Nationals. The Texas Rangers have also said that the protective netting will extend well beyond the dugouts in their new stadium.
One of the considerations about extending the netting at the new SunTrust field is how it will work with the way that seating is designed.
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