By: Josh Clark
ARLINGTON (105.3 The Fan) - The Texas Rangers are taking a big step to improve fan safety at Globe Life Park.
In an announcement released Thursday, the club decided to extend the netting to the outfield end of both the first and third base dugouts as part of their new safety plans.
The changes will be in effect at the start of the 2016 season.
"The safety and well-being of our fans is our top priority," said Rangers Executive Vice President for Business Operations Rob Matwick. "While we are in compliance with the Major League Baseball recommendations that were issued in December, we have spent the last several months reviewing and considering different additional options that provide protection to fans sitting behind the dugouts. After careful consideration, we feel it makes sense to implement the additional netting for the 2016 season to make our park as safe as it can be.
"We fully understand that it may take some time for fans to be accustomed to this change and that some fans may have a different preference for their ballpark experience. We will do our best to accommodate the requests of any fan who is affected by the changes."
The new safety netting will extend approximately six-feet high and will run from the end of the home plate screen to the end of each dugout, a distance of approximately 68 feet on both the first and third base sides.
In addition to the revisions to the protective netting, the Rangers will add additional signage warning fans about the dangers posed by batted balls and bats entering the stands.
Based on availability, the team says they will offer to relocate any fans who attend a game and wish to sit in a section that has the added protection from their original seats.
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