LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Dodgers just made a big move, and it’s all about fan safety.
Dodger Stadium joined a growing number of teams Monday to extend the safety netting down the stretch of the field, but some fans aren’t happy about the move.
“It doesn’t give the game to the fans,” 14-year-old Ben Orduño said. “It blocks the view.”
For the Orduño family, it is a thrill to get as close to the action as possible at Dodger games. On Monday they were sitting at the field level where safety netting had been extended past the dug-out to better protect fans sitting in foul ball territory.
Linda Goldblum died after she was hit by a foul ball last year at Dodger Stadium, and in June, 13-year-old Kaitlyn Salazar suffered a concussion after she was struck by a blast off Cody Bellinger’s bat. After Salazar’s injury, the team said it would extend the netting.
The team’s president said the 124-foot extension was made with feedback from fans and players.
“We didn’t want to wait until next year,” Stan Kasten, Dodgers president and CEO, said. “A lot of teams have decided to do that. We wanted to do this as quickly as we could.”
And while most fans said the new netting defeated the purpose of sitting by the field, one Rosemead resident said putting safety first was a good thing since today’s players are faster and stronger than ever.
“The ball is coming off that bat way faster,” Steven Gonzales said. “You just don’t have time to react.”
This is the second time the Dodgers have extended the protective netting.