In September of 2017, after a string of scary incidents where bats and balls injured spectators at ballparks across the country, the Padres pledged to extend the protective safety netting at Petco Park. On Monday that construction project got underway.
The netting used to stop just before the dugouts behind home plate. This extension will take it over the dugouts and past three more sections down the first and third base lines (through Section 115 in right field and Section 116 in left field), which will cover the entirety of the infield.
The netting’s maximum height will be 24-feet, tapering down as it goes along the foul lines, and will be attached to the top of both dugouts and the tops of the walls along the warning track.
“The security and well-being of our fans is our number one priority at Petco Park,” said Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler and General Partner Peter Seidler in a statement. “We feel the new netting design drastically improves the safety of our patrons, while the state-of-the-art materials will have a minimal effect on the fan experience as it pertains to the view of the field and sightlines of our ballpark.”
One of the concerns about extension is a reduction in visibility. The Padres will be replacing all of the netting, including what’s already there, with a new product recommended by Major League Baseball called Promats Athletics 1.2 mm Field Green Ultra Cross® Knotless Dyneema® Netting.
According to the product’s website it’s a lightweight, open mesh that is dyed green and claims to be the first netting to offer 95% spectator visibility. Construction is expected to be finished by Friday, March 23, when La Costa Canyon High School and Vista High School play a game at Petco Park.