Safe at home: Reno Aces to extend protective netting

Fans in Greater Nevada Field watch a foul ball bounce off of the dugout.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage photos

As the Reno Aces gear up for the 2020 campaign, a new change is coming to its home ballpark — additional netting to protect fans from foul balls and thrown bats.

In early December, The Aces will begin construction on the netting around Greater Nevada Field. Installation is expected to be ready for the 2020 season, set to open April 9 at 1:05 p.m. against the division rival Sacramento River Cats.

“Safety is our top priority and our fans have asked us to do more,” Aces President Eric Edelstein said in a press release on Wednesday.

“It’s our mission to be the premier affordable family fun entertainment option in Northern Nevada and adding protective netting to the entire seating bowl area maintains that goal. We’re confident these nets will protect all of our fans and enhance the gameday experience. Every action we take is with our fans and community first.”

The Aces, Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, selected Ultra Cross Netting by Sportsfield Specialties for installation. Ultra Cross Netting by Sportsfield Specialties is used by 23 Major League clubs including both 2019 World Series participants; the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.

Reno will use braided and knotless Ultra Cross Netting, made of ultra-high weight polyethylene fiber, the strongest configuration available at Sportsfield Specialties and offers 95 percent spectator visibility. The netting also offers protection against UV damage.

Local construction company, Rapid Construction, will assist Sportsfield Specialties in the installation of the netting.

“These nets are trusted at ballparks that host the game’s best, that’s a category we want to be a part of,” Aces General Manager Emily Jaenson said in a press release.

Protective net extensions have become common within the MLB and MiLB in efforts to decrease foul ball related injuries.

MiLB.com reported on July 16 that the Fresno Grizzlies, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, will extend its safety netting. Ballpark Digest reported on June 8 that the Quad Cities River Bandits, a Class-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, will also extend its protective netting for the 2020 season.

–Isaiah Burrows

A baseball bat twirls into the stands during a game in 2018,
Domingo Leyba fights back tears after his foul ball hit a fan last season.
A generous fan gives away a baseball he had caught in the stands.

ABOUT Isaiah Burrows

Isaiah Burrows
Tahoe Onstage sportswriter Isaiah Burrows also is a general assignment reporter for CarsonNow.org, an online news source in Carson City. He is a journalism major at the University of Nevada, Reno, where is the sports editor of the Sagebrush student newspaper. He is the Reno Aces beat writer for Tahoe Onstage.

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