WASHINGTON, DC – Compared to past seasons, it’s a down year for the Washington Nationals – currently three games below .500 and eight games out of first place in the National League East division. However, with the team behind in the standings, the Nationals are still out in front when it comes to fan safety.
Thursday, the Nationals announced plans to add protective netting at Nationals Park. In addition to replacing the current netting, additional protection will be installed – expanding to just short of the right and left field corners.
In a letter posted on the team’s blog, Nationals Managing Principal Owner and Vice Chairman Mark D. Lerner admits the decision was made in light of recent fan injuries at other stadiums. He notes the netting is knotless, which offers a higher degree of transparency than traditional protective netting.
Lerner’s full letter:
Dear Nationals Fans:
Today, we announced additional protective netting will be installed at Nationals Park during the All-Star break. Ultra Cross Knotless Dyneema protective netting will be installed, replacing the existing netting, and extend to just short of the right and left field corners (see graphic above). Knotless netting offers a higher degree of transparency than the traditional knotted netting. The netting will be designed so that certain sections over each dugout can be raised pregame to foster fan interactions with players.
Over the past few weeks, we have seen several fans injured by bats and balls leaving the field of play at other stadiums. I could not help but become emotional last month watching the Astros-Cubs game when a four-year-old little girl was hit by a line drive. I can’t imagine what her parents must have felt in that moment. And to see the raw emotion and concern from Albert Almora Jr. was heartbreaking. Further extending the netting at Nationals Park will provide additional protection for our fans.
If you are concerned about this change or have questions, you can reach a member of our service team by calling 202.675.NATS (6287) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you at Nationals Park.