PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Pirates are replacing the protective netting behind home plate at PNC Park and extending it further down the baselines this season in the interest of fan safety, the club announced Monday.
The new netting will be the same height as it was before, but it will now reach to the end of each dugout. In a question-and-answer explanation of the changes, the Pirates said the change was not mandated by Major League Baseball, but "proactively going beyond the MLB recommendation to provide more fans with the protection of netting and to ensure that PNC Park offers a family friendly, safe environment for our fans."
"When we decided to replace the netting behind home plate with a new, more transparent knotless netting system, we felt the time was right to extend the netting further down the baselines," according to the club. "The extended netting will improve fan safety, while minimizing any obstructions."
The netting will be made of "the most transparent, knotless netting material possible and will have fewer vertical cables than the previous system. This should limit, if not eliminate, any sight line obstructions," according to the Pirates' Q&A post.
Season-ticket holders can move their seats due to the new netting system, the club announced. The Bucs encouraged season-ticket holders to contact their representative with any questions regarding the changes or to schedule a visit to the ballpark during which they can evaluate the sight lines from their seats.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.