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Twins extend safety netting for third time at Target Field

Fans catch the bat of Chicago White Sox outfielder Daniel Palka during a 2018 game against Minnesota at Target Field. Brad Rempel / USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins have added to the protective safety netting already in place at Target Field ahead of the 2020 season, raising the height of existing netting above the dugout and the foul lines, as well as lengthening it, the club announced Thursday.

The new netting will go 85 feet further than the existing net along the left-field line and 65 feet further in right field. This will provide 275 feet of netting coverage down the left-field line and 255 feet out to right field, beyond the guidelines set out by Major League Baseball.

“When considering ways to improve the Target Field experience, enhancing fan safety is always a high priority,” Twins president and CEO Dave St. Peter said in a release. “Understanding every ballpark is unique in its geometry, we believe the new netting configuration is the right approach for Target Field.”

This is the third time the Twins have extended the safety netting — they also did so before the 2016 and 2018 seasons. Teams have been extending netting to stop bats and balls from flying into the stands at high speeds and hitting fans. The issue once again came to the forefront last season when a toddler was seriously injured by a foul ball in Houston.

Seating areas of Target Field that will be behind the netting include: Dugout Box (sections 1, 16 and 17), Dugout Box Infield (sections 2-6 and 11-15), Thomson Reuters Champions Club (sections 7-10), Diamond Box (sections 103-104 and 124-125), Infield Box (sections 105-108 and 120-123) and Home Plate Box (109-119).

The new netting is designed to be detached and rolled up so fans and players can still interact before the game.