By Emily Turner

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Fans will notice something different at next week’s Giants home opener after new safety changes were made behind home plate.

There will be new faces and new foods, but for many fans the biggest change will be the netting up behind home plate. As the result of new guidelines implemented by Major League Baseball, and a string of accidents at ball parks around the country with bats and foul balls, the Giants upgraded.

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“Our priority was really fan safety. We wanted to do whatever we could for the folks behind home plate,” Alfonso Felder, Executive Vice President of Administration for the Giants said.

A net like the one the Giants installed could have prevented an accident when an Oakland fan was injured by a broken bat at Fenway Park in Boston. The net extends protection to the home plate end of each dugout, and ups the height from 20 to 25 feet.

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The Giants say not only will the net be safer for the folks sitting behind home plate, it will also be a better view.

“When you see the net it almost disappears you don’t even notice it’s there. It’s also enabled us to take down some pretty obstructive poles that were holding up the net,” Staci Slaughter, Executive Vice President of Communications and Senior Advisor to the CEO for the Giants said.

So the view will be better, the safety will be better, but the ball catching ability – quite the opposite. But, the Giants say it’s worth the trade.

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“If you are behind home plate and in the spot behind the net there will probably be a few fewer chances, but at the same time safety really is our priority,” Felder said.