(Tulsa, Okla) — The Tulsa Drillers announced plans today to extend the protective netting at ONEOK Field prior to the start of the 2020 baseball season. The Drillers are the most recent of several minor league and all major league teams to extend netting in their stadiums.
The protective netting will be extended down both foul lines and will now cover most of the seating bowl areas of ONEOK Field. It is the second expansion project in the past three years, as the netting was extended to the ends of the dugouts prior to the 2017 season.
“Fan safety is of the utmost importance to our organization,” said Drillers General Manager Mike Melega. “The extended netting will further serve our mission of providing affordable family entertainment in a fun and safe environment. We are confident that this project will enhance the ballpark experience.”A black, knotless Ultra Cross Dyneema netting will be used, matching the existing material that is currently in place. It is a stat-of-the-art material that is 50% thinner than traditional backstop netting and provides maximum protection without disrupting fan’s views of the game action. The product is developed and installed by Sportsfield Specialties in several major league stadiums.
The new additions will also feature areas in section 103 (first base side) and section 115 (third base side) where the net will be raised prior to games so that fans can still interact with players from both teams. The netting will be lowered and secured back into place prior to the start of each game.
Also, as in past seasons, the stadium’s entire net structure will be lowered for FC Tulsa USL soccer matches.
The additional safety netting is the second major project announced by the Drillers this off-season. New, high-definition video boards are currently being installed throughout ONEOK Field. This project is highlighted by a new 2,133 square foot main video board that will feature a full picture that is nearly double the size of the previous board.
Both projects are expected to be completed prior to the Drillers 2020 home and season opener that is scheduled for Thursday, April 9.