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Baseball’s Opening day will provide fans with a pleasure less thrilling than shouts of “Play Ball” but more enduring: safer seating.
Expanded safety screens and nets will be in place at all 30 big-league parks as the season gets under way beginning March 29 at Marlins Park in Miami, Major League Baseball spokesman Mike Teevan told Bloomberg Law.
The safety feature will extend to at least the far ends of the dugouts, Teevan said, and at least one team is taking it a step further.
Netting at Yankee Stadium in New York, where a toddler was struck in 2017 by a batted ball while sitting with her parents, will extend about halfway to the outfield foul poles.
The safety enhancements follow a string of suits by fans with injuries or safety concerns from batted balls.
In December 2017, a federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of a class complaint by California fans who fear being struck by foul balls while sitting in seats unprotected by netting.
In October, a New York appeals court dismissed a suit by a fan injured by a line drive at Yankee Stadium.
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