HOUSTON – The protective netting at Minute Maid Park will be extended and upgraded, the Houston Astros announced Thursday.
The netting, which runs down both sides of home plate, is meant to protect fans from baseballs that are driven into the bleachers from time to time.
Team officials said that, in addition to the netting being extended along the left-field and right-field lines, it will be replaced with a knotless netting that will improve the viewing experience for fans.
The Astros released the following statement about the changes:
“Fan experience is always a top priority for the Astros. The Astros have followed Major League Baseball’s guidelines regarding netting while providing fans with a choice as to whether they sit in areas with or without protective netting. These changes will improve the fan’s experience and increase the number of seats behind protective netting. Fans will continue to have the option to sit in areas without netting.”
The new netting will be installed before the team’s next homestand, which starts Aug. 19.
The change comes after a 2-year-old girl was hit by a line drive foul ball during the team’s May 29 game against the Cubs.
An attorney representing the girl’s family said the child suffered a “serious head injury.”
This isn’t the first time the netting has been extended at Minute Maid Park. The most recent change was made last year, when MLB announced that all 30 of the league’s ballparks would extend protective netting to at least the far ends of both dugouts.