Citizen Potawatomi Nation became a destination for baseball and softball after opening FireLake Ball Fields in March 2012, and the 2018 ball season kicked off last month. Watching the demand for accommodations increase in the surrounding area, BDC Gun Room owner Jack Barrett opened the Batting Cages at BDC late last year.
He felt it was a natural addition to his business after speaking with patrons of the ball fields over the summer.
“I heard from a lot of those folks and from people that I know that are involved in some of the club teams that there weren’t a lot of places to do batting practice, whether they be indoor or outdoor, period,” Barrett said.
The Batting Cages at BDC are open to the public and available for rent per half-hour. Teams and individuals can also purchase blocks of time at a discounted volume rate. BDC requires customers to bring helmets and bats.
There are three cages: baseball, softball and coach pitch. Pitching tees and balls are included with facility rental as are arm-style and softball wheel pitching machines.
The practice zone occupies the same area as BDC Gun Room’s archery range. Barrett researched options and designed collapsible equipment to accommodate customer requests for both activities.
“That space there where our archery is has always been flex space. We’ve used it for a banquet. We’ve used it for different firearms training,” he said. “I didn’t have to give up archery to accommodate the batting cages.”
Each batting area is approximately 55 feet long. He constructed the layout using surplus materials and heavy-duty nylon netting made for batting cages. Braided cables running the width of the room suspend them, and carabiners attach everything. The components’ flexibility makes the space safe and mobile.
“It’s just an extension of my efforts to provide activities and enjoyment for families,” he said. “We’re always looking to improve and are always willing to take advice and suggestions on improving the facility and service.”
The Batting Cages at BDC might rent equipment in the future, but for now, Barrett enjoys the increased use while he markets its first season.
“I just figured that there was a need, and hopefully, that we would fill a need and get some good traffic,” he said.
Rentals are available by calling BDC Gun Room and through Facebook at The Batting Cages at BDC. For more information, visit battingcagesatbdc.com.
For More Information:
Batting cages at BDC gun room
10 a.m.-7 p.m.
10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Inside BDC Gun Room
40962 Hardesty Road
$20: one round (30 minutes)
Team and bulk rates
$108: six rounds
$192: 12 rounds