Strength & Visibility of Ultra Cross Braided Dyneema® Netting Attracts Teams
What does the commercial fishing industry have to do with Major League Baseball’s recommendations to improve ballpark safety for its fans in 2016? For Promats Athletics, which played a prominent role installing tension backstop netting systems for major league teams this off-season, the answer is Ultra Cross Braided Dyneema® netting.
Promats Athletics, which has outfitted sports venues with protective wall padding and safety netting systems for over 30 years, is the exclusive supplier of Ultra Cross Braided Dyneema® to sports venues in the United States.
Ultra Cross is an advanced four-strand braided knotless netting made with Dyneema®, an Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene material considered “the world’s strongest fiber,” and is made by Dutch materials company, DSM. While Dyneema® was first developed for heavy duty commercial fishing, the product’s durability paired with its lightweight properties made it ideal for other applications like bullet proof vests, sailing lines, and baseball safety netting.
According to Josh Hicks, Large Venues Sales Manager at Promats Athletics, the use of Dyneema® allows Ultra Cross netting to be designed with a lower profile twine without compromising durability.
“That’s why they call it “invisible netting,” explained Hicks, “it does its job of protecting fans, but doesn’t get in the way of watching the game. It’s a win-win.”
In 2012, recognizing Ultra Cross Braided Dyneema®’s market potential as baseball safety netting, Promats Athletics made a fortuitous trip to Bainbridge Island (near Seattle, Washington) to visit NET Systems, the manufacturer of the Ultra Cross. It was there that discussions began that would eventually lead to a partnership agreement granting Promats Athletics exclusive rights to Ultra Cross Braided Dyneema® for sports venues in the United States.
“It’s an incredible product,” explained Keegan Mulholland, Engineer at Promats Athletics. “We have conducted several in-house tests with extremely positive results,” Mullholland said. He explained that Promats Athletics also sought independent 3rd party testing from Innovate Test Solutions of Schenectady, NY. “It’s important to have non-biased scientific results when it comes to safety equipment.” Results showed that Ultra Cross Braided Dyneema® netting systems provide superior strength with minimal stretch (less “danger zone”), significantly better than industry standard alternatives.
Promats Athletics has installed Ultra Cross Braided Dyneema® netting in nearly a dozen MLB stadiums since MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s recommendation to expand netting for fan safety. Most recently, systems were installed at Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Petco Park, Busch Stadium, and Wrigley Field.