TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays say they will extend the protective netting at the Rogers Centre and Dunedin Stadium — their home for spring training in Florida — next season.
The Blue Jays are joining other Major League Baseball teams in making the move after several injuries to fans on foul balls in recent years.
Currently, the Blue Jays’ netting at the Rogers Centre extends to the end of each dugout.
The Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals unveiled netting from foul pole to foul pole this season. The White Sox made the decision after a foul ball at the park sent a woman to the hospital with her head bleeding earlier this season.
The Blue Jays say the exact configuration for their netting still is being determined.
Commissioner Rob Manfred recently said extending protective netting down foul lines is a ballpark-to-ballpark decision because of differing configurations. MLB mandated before the 2018 season that netting extend to the far end of each dugout.
“Fan safety is paramount to the Blue Jays and we believe that fans should feel protected and secure during our games,” Andrew Miller, the Blue Jays’ executive vice president of business operations, said in a statement. “Extending the protective netting at Rogers Centre and Dunedin Stadium is a clear next step for our organization and one that reflects our team’s values. As fans and followers of the game, it is vitally important for us to preserve and enhance the live baseball experience, while also ensuring everyone who visits our ballparks can do so safely.”
— With files from The Associated Press.