Going to Dutchess Stadium Can Turn Into ‘Life-Changing Nightmare’
A new report claims the Hudson Valley Renegades and many other minor league teams are "putting fans at risk."
A new report released on safety netting at minor league ballparks across the country claims 42 teams, including the Hudson Valley Renegades, have failed to install safety netting past their dugouts.
"The state of the union is horrible throughout Minor League Baseball. It is so severe that I am calling for no children to be allowed into any of these ballparks until the government intervenes to ensure their safety," Jordan Skopp, the founder of the study, states. "Minor League Baseball must be closed for business, at least to children, until further notice. Fans deserve a gold standard of protection, and unfortunately, there is no standard."
A spokesperson for the study told Hudson Valley Post the "Renegades are putting fans at risk of being severely injured by foul balls" by not extending netting past the dugout, despite MLB recommendations to extend netting to foul poles.
“At this point, I urge parents to stop taking their children to the Minor League ballparks listed in our study until adequate safety netting is installed,” Skopp added. “Without adequate safety netting in place, a day at the park to root for a local favorite can turn into a life-changing nightmare.”
A Renegades fan told Hudson Valley Post she was almost "taken out by line drive foul ball" while sitting on the first-base side at Dutchess Stadium.
The Hudson Valley Renegades told Hudson Valley Post Dutchess Stadium is in full compliance with professional baseball safety regulation and recently extended the netting.
"We are not aware of any such media report. Regardless, we are in full compliance with professional baseball safety regulations. In fact, Dutchess County extended the original netting significantly down the lines at Dutchess Stadium prior to the 2017 season," Hudson Valley Renegades President and General Manager Steve Gliner told Hudson Valley Post.
Skopp says during his study he's talked to players who have warned family members to not go to some stadiums.
"I’ve talked to a number of players who proactively warn their family members to avoid certain ballpark seating sections because they know the very real threat foul balls represent," Skopp said.
Skopp is also calling for Congress, state lawmakers, as well as state and federal to take action to address and correct this issue. You can read more about his study by CLICKING HERE.
In early November, Hudson Valley Post reported the New York Yankees confirmed changes to their minor league affiliation structure and announced the club's High Single-A minor league team will now call the Hudson Valley home.
The Yankees also confirmed the team will continue to be called the Hudson Valley Renegades and play its home games at Dutchess Stadium in 2021.