The Pirates are installing new safety netting at PNC Park that will extend to the far end of each dugout. This rendering shows the old and new netting.
Gary Tramontina/Associated Press
The Pirates are installing new netting at PNC Park that will extend to the far end of each dugout. The current netting, pictured here in 2001 prior to PNC Park's opening, ends at the start of each dugout.
By Stephen J. Nesbitt / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — The Pirates are installing new protective netting that extends to the end of the dugouts at PNC Park, the club announced Monday.
The move is a fan-safety measure but surely will frustrate some fans who desire an entirely unobstructed view of the field.
In a question-and-answer post provided on the team’s website, the Pirates explained that by extending the netting system they will be “providing protection in those areas where the reaction time for objects that enter the seating area is the shortest. There will still be opportunities for fans to sit outside the netting in areas where there is more time to react to such objects.”
The new netting will be the same height as the previous system, according to the team, and it is a knotless and more transparent material with fewer vertical cables than the previous net.
“This should limit, if not eliminate, any sight line obstructions,” according to the Pirates.
In December 2015, Major League Baseball recommended teams extend protective netting to shield all field-level seats between the dugouts and within 70 feet of home plate. At the time, PNC Park already was compliant with the league’s recommendations.
The Pirates explained the recent netting expansion as not mandated by the league.
Season ticket-holders are encouraged to contact their membership representative with questions or to request a ballpark visit to see how their seats have been affected. If the view is unsatisfactory, the representative will go over alternatives for fans who desire to be relocated.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.
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