The Peoria Chiefs remain the only one of 120 minor league clubs that continue to operate with no netting at all above the dugouts, putting fans at higher risk of foul ball injuries.

Despite a fan safety lawsuit filed in July 2023, and ongoing pressure to extend safety netting at Dozer Park in recent years, the Peoria Chiefs continue to put fans in harm’s way this spring and summer.

Peoria remains the only one of 120 minor league clubs that continue to operate with no netting at all above the dugouts.

The Bradley Braves college baseball team recently concluded their season at Dozer Park as well, meaning their fan base was also at risk. It’s unclear whether there were any fan injuries at their home games between March and May.

Last summer, a child suffered a serious head injury after being struck by a foul ball on July 28, 2023 at Dozer Park, and was admitted to critical care at a local hospital. The incident took place around Section 101, farther down the lines where there is also no netting at Dozer Park.

“It could happen again any day now, as long as this ballpark continues to ignore its duty to protect all fans who enter the gates by failing to install proper netting,” according to Jordan Skopp, founder of Foul Ball Safety Now.

The Peoria Chiefs are an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball.

“I believe that the Cardinals’ MLB franchise owes it to all their minor league fans to step up and fix this situation immediately. But I’m not holding my breath, since their general counsel told me last year that it’s not their responsibility. That’s an eye-opening position that demonstrates how callous and disrespectful the professional leagues are towards the fans,” Skopp said.

The Chiefs were sued by a foul ball injury victim in 2023 for ongoing risks to fan safety at Dozer Park. The case is still active.

“Three years have passed since the Chiefs began promising that more netting would be added, and yet they continue to fail to follow through, leaving fans at risk of life-altering injury or death. The fact is that netting could’ve been installed at any point in a matter of days, and their continued kicking the can down the road. It’s irresponsible, and there is no excuse for it,” Skopp said.

Foul ball threats to fan safety continue throughout professional baseball. Just this past weekend, an 8-year-old boy was struck in the eye by a foul ball at Dodger Stadium – the same ballpark where the two known fan fatalities from foul balls occurred.

About Foul Ball Safety Now

Foul Ball Safety Now! is a campaign started by Jordan Skopp, a Brooklyn realtor, lifelong baseball fan, and author of a forthcoming book about the wildly overlooked scandal in the professional baseball industry – the all-too-frequent incidence of fans being maimed by dangerous foul balls due to the lack of extended protective netting, and related failures to educate fans about their assumed risk at the ballgame. For more information, visit Foul Ball Safety Now