Isotopes Park Protective Netting Expanded
In order to increase fan safety, and in accordance with recent recommendations made by Major League Baseball, the Albuquerque Isotopes and the City of Albuquerque have extended the backstop netting at Isotopes Park to the far ends of each dugout.
In December 2015, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued recommendations to Major League Baseball, which were endorsed by Minor League Baseball, about fan safety and netting extending to the ends of the dugouts. Minor League stadiums are governed by regulations set forth by MLB.
City-owned Isotopes Park joins dozens of MLB and MiLB stadiums around the country in complying with the Commissioner's directive.
"Fan safety is of the utmost importance to us and we support the Commissioner's recommendations," said Isotopes General Manager John Traub. "The fan experience is also very important, and a major part of that experience is safety. We fully believe this extension allows fans who are sitting closest to home plate with the least amount of reaction time to be in a safe environment, while still enjoying all facets of an Isotopes game. As we all know, there are still inherent risks associated with attending baseball games. People still need to pay attention."
The netting has been expanded to sections 113 and 114 over each dugout. With the new configuration, 22% of the seating capacity at Isotopes Park has netting in front of the seats. For those fans who elect not to sit behind a net, 78% of the seating capacity will accommodate their choice.
After the Commissioner's edict came out in December, the Isotopes contacted their Season Ticket Holders about the pending change. "The response was overwhelmingly positive and in support of the added safety measures," Traub said. "People understand that safety must come first."
Players are still encouraged to interact with fans as much as possible as it relates to signing autographs pre-game and tossing baseballs into the stands at the conclusion of innings.