The Red Sox will be adding more safety netting along both baselines next season to protect fans from foul balls and broken bats.
The backstop netting that currently stretches to the inner edge of each dugout will be extended about 140 feet down the first- and third-baselines, the team announced in an email to season ticket holders yesterday.
“While we are still working with our design and engineering team on the specific dimensions of the new netting system, we expect the coverage to extend from Field Box 79 on the third base side to the Canvas Alley area on the first base side, around Field Box 9,” club spokeswoman Zineb Curran told the Herald.
The club extended netting to the dugouts after a broken bat flew into the stands and struck a woman in the face in 2015. The incident, which left the woman seriously injured, prompted Major League Baseball to recommend, but not require, ballparks to run the netting to the dugouts.
In September, a foul ball from New York Yankee slugger Todd Frazier hit a young girl in the face at Yankee Stadium, renewing calls for more safety netting. In the days after the incident, the Yankees, the Cincinnati Reds, the San Diego Padres, the Colorado Rockies and the Seattle Mariners pledged to add netting.
Curran said the Red Sox’ decision to beef up its safety measures were not in response to the Yankees incident.
“Fan safety is one of the most important things we consider each offseason as we work to improve the game experience at Fenway Park,” Curran said, “and the decision was made to take this step.”