Padres add extra layer of protection to keep fans safe

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Fans enjoy game at Petco Park behind new backstop netting.

SAN DIEGO — During opening day, most Padres fans probably didn’t notice that the protective netting behind home plate looked different and bigger than normal.

Turns out the backstop is 25 feet longer than in previous seasons.

The team decided to extend the netting to provide more protection for fans.

In past years, there have been fans who have been hit by baseballs and bats that fly into the stands at ballparks across the country.

With lawsuits piling up, Major League Baseball decided to ask clubs, like the Padres, to add more of the protective netting.

Most fans thought it was a good idea, but some said it was unnecessary.

“Having season tickets for several years there’s never been a foul ball that has come within five feet of us, I suppose it helps but at the same time we’ve never been in danger,” said Jake a self described Padres fan.

The manufacturer of the netting says the mesh blends in better and is less obstructive than the previous backstop.