PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Pirates are extending the protective netting at PNC Park.

The team says the new netting will stretch from nearly the length of the first and third base foul lines. They say the netting has been designed for “maximum transparency” while keeping fans safe.

The protective netting at the team’s spring training home in Bradenton will also be extended.

(Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Pirates)

“Baseball bats can get loose and fly and hit fans. I think it’s overall a great idea,” said Jackson Kirkley.

To bolster the fan experience, the Pirates say their netting will have portions that will open before each game.

The extended netting debate picked up this summer after a 4-year-old girl was hit in the stands along the left-field line at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.

Former Pittsburgh Pirates President Frank Coonelly said immediately after the child was hit in Houston, the team got the extend-the-netting wheels in motion.

“I have four small kids and I think the extra protection is great,” said Meredith Herley.