Twins will be first Major League team to extend safety nets to dugouts

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The Minnesota Twins could be trendsetters when it comes to enhancing fan safety at Major League Baseball games.

MLB has made fan safety a priority issue ahead of the 2016 season and the Twins will be the first team in the majors to extend safety nets to the end of each dugout.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred set the tone in December when he went on the record saying the risk of fans being injured by batted balls or bats flying into the stands is a "topic of serious concern."

MLB requires teams to use safety nets to protect fans seated within 70 feet of home plate, but the plan for Target Field will go well beyond that.

According to the Pioneer Press, the Twins will replace the traditional netting behind home plate with a knotless Dyneema material. They also plan to use a thinner version of that same netting to create a 7 foot high protective net that will run to the end of each dugout.

The extra netting will protect fans seated near the dugouts down each line from the vicious foul ball line drives that sometimes make their way into the stands.

But will fans sacrifice the view of the game that Target Field has become known for?

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The Twins hope not. Matt Hoy the Twins senior vice president of operations tells the newspaper that it will be "less invasive to sight lines."

"The Twins remain fully committed to delivering the best possible game day experience for our fans," said Twins President Dave St. Peter in December. "In that spirit we have developed this plan aimed at enhancing fan safety and preserving the unique sight lines and accessibility of our ballpark."

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