Updated: January 25, 2020 08:56 AM
Created: January 24, 2020 09:13 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Changes are coming to Isotopes Park.
However, Peter Trevisani, owner of United, says that intimacy that fans crave at soccer games could be threatened by more netting.
“Players jump into the stand after goals,” he said. “They sign autographs for half an hour. They hug the kids.”
The netting would extend past first and third base.
The City of Albuquerque said the National Baseball Association is requiring them to make the change.
“It’s really important to have the nets extended for safety for baseball,” Trevisani said. “Totally understand that. It’s important to applaud that decision. It’s also a great opportunity to install a simple system so they can also come down.”
United and the Isotopes share the stadium.
Trevisani is asking the city to make the new netting retractable, and fans are rallying around that idea.
A Change.org petition has about 500 signatures.
“We're going to work through that in the next couple weeks,” said Lawrence Rael, chief operating officer for the City of Albuquerque. “First to talk to our contractor to see what other systems are out there.”
About $250,000 has been budgeted for the netting.
Rael said they've worked well with the team in the past, installing cameras for broadcast, and allotting $300,000 per season to transition the field from baseball to soccer.
“We have put our money where our mouth is,” Rael said. “The mayor has been very supportive and continues to be very supportive.”
Rael said the city is open to a retractable system or manually removing the nets for the transition.
New Mexico United is willing to pitch in money to make it happen.
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