ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – There are plans for extended safety netting at Isotopes Park this season, but fans shouldn’t expect to see it when the team plays its home opener on April 15th.
Major league and minor league teams have been working to implement that new precaution at ballparks across the country following an MLB recommendation that nets be extended to the dugouts for fan safety.
The Albuquerque Isotopes are happy to move towards that recommendation, but they’re at the city’s mercy. They rent the ballpark from the city.
Melissa Lozoya, director of the Albuquerque Municipal Development Department, says the city is working to add the new nets sometime during the season.
“Safety is very important to us,” Lozoya said. “We should have a better schedule by the middle of this month, by the middle of April.”
Lozoya declined to give KRQE News 13 even a ballpark price tag on what the improvements will cost, saying there are still multiple options the city is looking at. The goal is to improve safety without blocking the view.
“We don’t want to interfere with the baseball experience, having poles or anything like that in our viewers’ line of sight,” Lozoya said.
Isotopes general manager John Traub tells KRQE News 13 that the plan to add nets doesn’t mean the ballpark is unsafe to begin with and that it’s important to get the improvements right. However, he says fans have to do their part for safety.
“No matter how many nets are up, it’s important that fans pay attention,” Traub said.
Lozoya says the cost of the additional nets will be handled within the city’s existing budget.