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Loeb Stadium looks to expand foul ball netting

Right now, there is no netting to protect the crowd from foul balls at Loeb Stadium in Lafayette.

Posted: Jun 4, 2019 6:32 PM
Updated: Jun 4, 2019 6:34 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Sometimes, baseball games can be dangerous for the crowd. It isn't extremely common, but two children were injured by foul balls recently. One injury happened at an Indianapolis Indians' game and the other at a Cubs game in Houston. The incidents inspired some serious conversations about expanding safety nets. News 18 found out this was already in the works at Loeb Stadium in Lafayette.

"It is a concern," said Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski. "Especially if you look at the current Loeb Stadium."

Right now there's no netting protecting fans from foul balls at Loeb stadium. There are signs warning people of the dangers of foul balls but that's all about to change once the new Loeb Stadium is built.

"This is going to be much much improved from that current situation," said Roswarski. 

Alex Gonzalez, Executive Vice President of Kettelhut Construction, said, "Usually they stop the nets at the dugouts."

However, the mayor and other people questioned the company noting foul balls may hit cars on Main Street and people. So, they went beyond the typical requirements for safety nets.

"Certainly over 90 percent, probably over 95 percent of the seats in the grand stand, in the concourse, will be behind netting," said Lafayette Parks Director Jon Miner. 

City and project leaders feel confident this will keep people safe but they know it isn't fool proof.

"We will continue to evaluate things once the baseball stadium is open," said Mayor Roswarski. "Whether it's for a baseball game or a concert or whatever we are using it for."

Work on the new stadium is expected to begin after the Aviator's season this summer.

The team's home opener is this Thursday at 7:05.

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