Red Sox

Stephen King says protective netting makes Fenway’s dugout seats feel like ‘a cage’

King is a season ticket holder.

Stephen King is not a fan of the new netting at Fenway Park. Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP / Getty Images

Stephen King “feels terrible” about the netting at Fenway Park, he wrote in an editorial published in The Boston Globe on Monday.

The novelist is a season ticket holder, and he received a call from a Red Sox spokesperson who informed King that his seats would be guarded by netting in the upcoming 2016 season. The additional netting was recommended by the MLB in December. Fenway park had two occurrences of fans getting struck by a bat and a ball during the 2015 season.

Yet King strongly opposes the netting. Here is an except from his editorial.

“There are questions inherent in the decision to net, and I think they’re bigger than baseball. Like when does protection become overprotection? Is the safety of a fan at a public event like a baseball game the responsibility of the organization putting on that event? (According to the back of every MLB ticket sold, the fan is responsible.) When do safety precautions begin to steal away the pure joy of being there?

“I understand the Red Sox bear some responsibility, but I also accept my responsibility to take care of myself — to the best of my ability — when I’m at the ballpark. Is there a certain element of risk? Yes. Is the risk perhaps increased by being only two rows from the playing field? Yes again. But you can see everything from that vantage, not just the players but the breathtaking green of the grass, the bright white of the uniforms, the sky as it goes from blue in the top of the first to black by the bottom of the sixth. And hey, there’s always the chance that you can catch a foul ball instead of being hit by one. That chance goes away once the net is in place. In fact, a lot goes away. That netting may be a fine mesh, but you’re still looking through a barrier instead of right at the thing you came to see. Which means you’d do almost as well to sit home watching the game on TV.

“… Also, there’s something almost ludicrous about wrapping America’s baseball stadiums in protective gauze when any idiot with a grudge can buy a gun and shoot a bunch of people. I’d much rather see some action taken on that little problem.

“I’ll still be at Fenway Park every chance I get, and I guess I’ll keep my dugout seats — which are remarkably expensive real estate, given how poorly the Sox have played the last couple of years — but I feel terrible about the netting. It’s one more step toward taking the taste and texture out of the game I care for above all others. The bottom line? That net feels like paying good money to sit in a cage.”

Read the entire story on The Globe.


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