MESA, AZ — The owner of Home Run Stadium Batting Cages on Main Street in Mesa has launched a GoFundMe page to help pay for necessary repairs.
The batting cages have been there for 35 years, and Roc Rothchild has owned it for 25 of those.
"I have a love for the game, and the love part is just seeing people have fun, enjoying the sport," said Rothchild.
Rothchild said the past few years, business has struggled. First, it was due to the construction of the light rail in front of the property and then, COVID hit.
"You just can't make those kinds of revenues back up," he said.
Rothchild said they haven't had the foot traffic to do what they used to; hold veteran appreciation day, host birthday parties and provide batting lessons. Most importantly, he can't keep up with routine repairs on the machines, netting and asphalt.
"I've had a few offers to buy the place, but I didn't want to sell it--the offers I had were from investors who want to tear the batting cage down and put something else up here, and that's why I'm reaching out to the community to help me keep me here," he said.
Rothchild launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $45,000 to get back on track.
"It'd not only give us needed funds for repairs but also increase the traffic and bring awareness that we really want to stay here, we want to be here," he said.
Rothchild wants to keep serving the community, and that includes Phil Stenholm.
Stenholm has been batting there since the 90s. He goes 3-4 times a week.
"It’s the best batting cage in the Valley, as far as I’m concerned," he said. "I am 66 years old so I need to stay active. I don’t like playing golf, I don’t like yard work, so I do this instead. This is what I like to do”
Stenholm said the cages are his second home, a place where he feels relaxed. He also said it's a place for all community members.
"I've seen high school teams hitting here, I've seen major leaguers hitting here in the off-season, I see families--I see 3-year-olds hitting. I see grandmas, I'm a grandpa so I'm hitting, so it's like, it's just a place for everybody," he said.
Learn more about Home Run Stadium Batting Cages here.
You can donate to the GoFundMe here.