At Least 43 MLB Minor League Affiliates Continue to Put Fans at High Risk of Dangerous Foul Ball Injuries

Industry: Sports

MLB’s Professional Development League is operating with unsafe conditions for fans seated past the ends of the dugouts, despite a December 2022 announcement about forthcoming improvements.

Brooklyn, NY (PRUnderground) April 25th, 2023

Foul Ball Safety Now has confirmed that at least 43 minor league ballparks operating as MLB Professional Development League (PDL) affiliates have no netting to protect fans seated past the ends of the dugouts. This is the same number of facilities that were confirmed by FBSN to be operating with unsafe conditions last baseball season.

It has been four months since the MLB Commissioner’s Office announced that all minor league team affiliates will have netting extending down the baselines—as far as the foul poles where possible—by the start of the 2025 season.

“Why does anyone think it’s ok to risk people’s lives for at least two more years? Not one of these 43 teams have chosen to make the upgrades in a timely fashion to protect fans right now. Netting improvements can be made in a matter of days, but professional baseball owners seem ready to wait another two years before finally providing basic safety protections to families attending games in their ballparks,” said Jordan Skopp, founder of Foul Ball Safety Now.

“Children should not be allowed to attend games at these ballparks until the netting upgrades are made,” Skopp said.

“MLB’s December 2022 announcement clearly indicates that the league acknowledges that fans currently face the risk of serious injury from high-speed foul balls and have faced such risk for many decades. The question remains, why is MLB giving their minor league affiliates another two full seasons to make the upgrades when the danger is clear and present right now? At the same time, another fair question to raise is whether the local fan bases in the 43 locations where teams are playing with no nets past ends of dugouts have been properly notified about this important alert and ongoing risk to their children and themselves?” asks Skopp.

The Peoria Chiefs remain the worst offender in minor league baseball. The High-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals told the media in 2021 that extended netting had been ordered but blamed Covid supply chain problems for the delay. Yet in 2023, fully two years later, Peoria is still hosting home games with no nets to protect fans above the dugouts, let alone down the lines.

“When will professional baseball treat fans with the respect we deserve? Where is the outrage from members of Congress and Governors? Where are the regulators who should be making sure that fans aren’t facing a predictable onslaught of high-speed foul balls every week across America? How many more fans must suffer life-changing injuries before MLB is held accountable for its decades-long disrespect for fan safety?” asks Skopp.

Foul Ball Safety Now is petitioning Major League Baseball to pay for extended netting throughout their minor league affiliates’ facilities. The group is also collecting petition signatures to abolish the Baseball Rule that protects owners from liability for fan injuries.

For more information, visit

About Foul Ball Safety Now

Foul Ball Safety Now! is a campaign started by Jordan Skopp, a Brooklyn realtor, lifelong baseball fan, and author of a forthcoming book about the wildly overlooked scandal in the professional baseball industry – the all-too-frequent incidence of fans being maimed by dangerous foul balls due to the lack of extended protective netting, and related failures to educate fans about their assumed risk at the ballgame. For more information, visit Foul Ball Safety Now

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