BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Pirates announced Friday that they will extend the netting at PNC Park and their spring training stadium LECOM Park, starting in the 2020 season.
The new netting systems will now stretch nearly the length of the first and third base foul lines at both ballparks in order to allow for a safer viewing environment.
"Safety is really important to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization," team president Travis Williams said. "We want to make sure that fans coming to the game are able to feel that they're safe while sitting in the stands.
"And in particular, there's a real emphasis for us on families. Making sure that families have the opportunity to sit down closest to the action, and really enjoy the game without having to worry about bats or balls coming into the stands."
Each MLB team will have netting that extends nearly the length of the foul line in 2020. Each club extended netting to at least the far end of the dugouts before the 2018 season.
The club says the netting will have "maximum occupancy."
These league wide change had been discussed for years, but were spurred forward after a two-year-old girl was struck by a foul ball in Minute Maid Park on May 29 of last year. She now has a permanent brain injury.
Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams went to Twitter to express his support of the changes.
And for the love of humanity, stop trying to argue that nets are not needed. Baseballs hurt — and they are harder than ever before 🙂