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Lawmakers Take Up Safety Netting Issue At Baseball Stadiums

Spring and summer generally mean one thing to fans nationwide: the start of the baseball season. Millions of fans nationwide make trips to various parks to see their home teams play the sport. For the most part, it’s usually a fun family outing. Unfortunately for some fans, a day at the baseball stadium can end in serious injury, and in some tragic cases, death. These deaths are often caused by balls hit by the players, usually foul balls, traveling at speeds of up to 100 m.p.h. To address the issue, the Democrat and Chronicle reports that New York lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow the Department of State to study the adequacy of safety netting at baseball stadiums throughout New York.

After a string of foul balls hit spectators, resulting in injuries in recent years, the New York Legislature is considering taking action. A bill currently making its way through the Legislature would allow the Department of State to study the adequacy of safety netting throughout New York.

In 2018, all 30 teams in the league extended netting past the dugouts. However, due to the differing construction of stadiums, the recommendation that more safety netting be put in place could not be extended unilaterally.

A memo attached to the bill stated that 1,750 fans are injured yearly by foul balls. The study would look at the injury rate of spectators due to foul balls and broken bats. The study would also take into consideration the nature of the injuries and where in the stadium they took place.

Other safety measures are also being considered, such as warnings placed on tickets and seats warning fans of the possibility of injury from foul balls and broken bats.

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