Amid outcry from New Mexico United fans, the city of Albuquerque says it will consider how it can make a required safety upgrade at Isotopes Park a little less permanent.
City officials plan to spend $250,000 at the baseball park to extend netting from the far ends of each dugout to the foul poles down the left- and right-field lines. That’s due to new standards imposed on the Albuquerque Isotopes, a Triple-A baseball team and the master lease holder at the city-owned park, according to Lawrence Rael, the city’s chief operating officer.
But the stadium since last year also has been home to the New Mexico United soccer team, and United supporters say the netting will hurt the game day experience. They are pushing for a retractable setup so the netting will not separate players from fans during soccer matches. One online petition for retractable netting had nearly 500 signatures as of Friday evening.
United owner Peter Trevisani said that the team’s players like to jump into the stands after scoring goals and go into the crowd after games to sign autographs and take pictures. He said using non-retractable netting would be “baffling.”