The Indians will attempt to improve fan safety by expanding the netting behind home plate to the far ends of each dugout in 2018.
The netting will now run down much of the first and third base lines, from section 140 to section 164. The club says it will do its best to "minimize the live game experience at Progressive Field."
“We remain committed to delivering the best experience for our fans at Progressive Field,” Indians VP of Ballpark Operations Jim Folk said. “Safety is our No. 1 priority and these measures should balance that commitment to safety with the interactive nature of our game, something we know is also important to our fans.”
The push to expand netting at Major League ballparks has intensified over the past few years, especially last season after a toddler was injured by a line drive at Yankee Stadium. Many fans, however, did not want any obstruction to their game-viewing experience. The team says it has "begun a proactive communication process to alert all Indians Season Ticket Holders whose seats are affected by the expansion."
The Tribe previously expanded its netting in 2015 to the near ends of each dugout. Prior to last year, only the New York Mets had extended their netting further down the foul lines.