Record #: R2017-829   
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Intro date: 10/10/2017 Current Controlling Legislative Body: Committee on Finance
Final action: 10/11/2017
Title: Call on Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs to lead Major League Baseball in terms of protective practices and spectator safety precautions
Sponsors: Burke, Edward M., Solis, Daniel
Topic: CITY COUNCIL - Miscellaneous
Attachments: 1. R2017-829.pdf
WHEREAS, with gross revenues reportedly nearing $10 billion in 2016, Major League Baseball's world-wide fan base and favored pastime status is unquestioned; and
WHEREAS, the joy of spectatorship is not without risks, as attendees are cautioned to be vigilant of high-speed balls or bats careening from the field and in their direction; and
WHEREAS, to mitigate those risks, Major League Baseball (MLB) has recommended guidelines for protective netting between the playing field and parts of the spectator areas; and
WHEREAS, different team stadiums adhere to different netting practices; and
WHEREAS, in September 2017 a two year old girl was struck by a 105 mile per hour (mph) baseball at a stadium with a netting arrangement that did not comply with the MLB guidelines; and
WHEREAS, in June 2015, a spectator at a Boston Red Sox versus Oakland Athletics game was struck in the face by a broken baseball bat and sustained life threatening injuries; and
WHEREAS, Bloomberg News reports that 1,750 fans were injured in 2014 by foul or errant balls in the stands at MLB games, with injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to shattered bones, skull fractures and even nerve and brain damage; and
WHEREAS, according to statistician Edwin Comber, 73% of foul balls hit the stands during MLB games; and
WHEREAS, according to an analysis by Bloomberg, spectator strikes occur more often than strikes to players at the plate; and
WHEREAS, indeed, hitting the ball beyond the field of play is a hallmark of the sport's competitiveness, and although not all home runs involve a ball reaching the stands, it is notable that the 2016 season boasted 701 more home runs than in the year before, which in turn saw 723 more home runs than in 2015; and
WHEREAS, as plays increase in power, spectator safety must be reconsidered and measures should be adjusted accordingly; and
WHEREAS, the MLB recommends that netting be installed to the near end of each team's dugout and within seventy (70) feet of home ...

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