Barnes Park batting cages reopening Saturday with revamped pitching machines – Loveland Reporter-Herald

Loveland’s best batters can return to the Barnes Park batting cages Saturday afternoon to take on the revamped pitching machines after a weeklong closure for renovations.

The Parks and Recreation Department first announced their hopes of updating the aging pitching machines at the south-central Loveland park in September 2021. According to previous reporting from the Reporter-Herald, the machines were last replaced in 2007 and had reached the end of their usable life.

Kim Miller, program supervisor with the Parks and Recreation department, said that throughout the winter her team worked on finding the right company to come in and do the renovations.

“It took us all winter to get that narrowed down,” she said, adding that by May they had selected a contractor for the job.

She said that the cages were closed over the last week for the renovations to take place. Since then, the pitching machines and ball distribution system have both seen upgrades as well as new coin boxes for the machines.

She said residents can now select the speed of their pitch depending at both the softball or baseball machines, as well as other features.

“They are able to select not only the speed, but if they want to adjust the height they can do that on the fly as they are being pitched to, so that is the bonus feature,” Miller said.

She said the cages now have two baseball machines with a select-a-pitch option— one of which pitches at 40, 50 or 60 miles per hour while the other pitches at 50, 60 or 70 miles per hour — alongside three slow-pitch softball machines and two select-a-pitch softball machines that pitch at 40, 50 or 60 miles per hour.

The project, which came in slightly above what the department expected at around $90,000, was something that Miller said they heard overwhelmingly from the community about.

She said that the feedback they received from a previous survey on Barnes Park was the need for updates to the batting cages, which spurred the project along.

“The community spoke so we listened,” she said.

The batting cages will have a soft grand opening Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. From then on, the cages will be open Monday through Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. until the end of the season.

Miller added that while the cage’s season usually ends in early to mid-October, if there is considerable community desire to keep them open longer they will keep them open as long as possible.

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