With the 2016 Major League Baseball season beginning, more fans at the games are protected by screens extending further down the foul lines than in past seasons. Fans in 10 MLB ballparks, however, might not readily notice the change, because of systems developed and installed by Promats Athletics, using netting manufactured by NET Systems made with Black Dyneema® material.
Widespread adoption of this product, commonly referred to as “invisible netting,” comes after MLB at the 2015 Winter Meetings in Nashville announced recommendations for extended screens to protect fans from batted or thrown balls and other hazards inherent with game play. Hailed by baseball officials as a positive change to keep spectators safe, some fans and groups initially voiced concern that installing additional screening would have a negative impact on the viewing experience.
“For fans, the biggest appeal is that Ultra Cross netting, made with Black Dyneema, is barely noticeable” said Wayne Oliver, president, Promats Athletics. “Manufacturing safety netting with what’s considered ‘the world’s strongest fiber,’ allows us to preserve the ballpark experience, while offering state-of-the-art protection for spectators.”
The netting is installed in 10 MLB ballparks: Fenway, Yankee Stadium, Target Field, Busch Stadium, Wrigley Field, Angel Stadium, Progressive Field, PNC Park, Petco Park (pictured above), and Great American Ball Park.
Additionally, minor league parks that have installed the nets include: Hammons Field (Springfield Cardinals), Joe Bruno Stadium (Tri-City Valley Cats), Jacksonville Suns Stadium (Jacksonville Suns), Florida Auto Exchange Stadium (Dunedin Blue Jays), Frontier Field (Rochester Red Wings), Herschel Greer Stadium (Nashville Sounds), Smith’s Ball Park (Salt Lake City Bees), and McCoy Stadium (Pawtucket Red Sox).
MLB Parks Choose Durable Netting
Dyneema fiber has been used by sports protective netting specialty companies due to its strength, lightweightness, and durability. Promats Athletics’ solution uses the Ultra Cross system manufactured by NET Systems with Black Dyneema fiber. Ultra Cross is a knotless braided net. Other systems use twisted fibers rather than braided, and are joined with knots (resulting in a thicker screen). Also, knots are the most common failure points identified via third party testing procedures.
Since the color is integrated into the fiber, the black coloration of Promats’ system will neither wear away when exposed to natural elements nor abrade should protective screens be repeatedly struck by batted or thrown balls.
Promats Athletics has exclusive access to NET Systems’ Ultra Cross knotless netting made with Black Dyneema for the baseball stadium market in the U.S.