Mud Hens to extend foul line netting at Fifth Third Field

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Toledo Mud Hens are the latest baseball organization to extend the safety netting further down the foul line at Fifth Third Field in an effort to protect fans from wayward balls. That netting will now stretch all the way down the line and will be raised higher behind home plate.

According to a press release from the Mud Hens, the netting "will extend approximately 250 feet from its previous endpoint down each field line to the foul poles, now including all the ballpark’s seating areas from Sections 101 to 119 and 201 to 219."

“Our mission is to create a fanatical experience for every person who visits Fifth Third Field,” said Erik Ibsen, Toledo Mud Hens general manager. “Expanding the netting will give our fans an added level of comfort to enjoy all facets of a Mud Hens game with their family and friends.”

The Mud Hens previously extended the netting at the start of the 2016 season, which added about 40 feet of netting along both the first and third baselines.

Major League Baseball, baseball fans, and lawmakers have been wrestling with the possibility of extending netting at ballparks following a number of fan injuries at ballparks during the 2019 season.

According to the team, the netting will be a lighter gauge further down the line in an effort to aid in visibility and will maintain "an area for player-fan interactions on the home plate side of each dugout."

The Mud Hens say they hope to have the netting installed ahead of their home opener on April 16th.