LEWISTON — The city plans to unveil two indoor batting cages — complete with pitching machines — at the Lewiston Memorial Armory later this month.
The machines and cages are a grant from Auburn sporting goods store Gee and Bee Sports. They will be open to Lewiston youths ages 4 through 18 playing three sports: Little League baseball, softball and lacrosse.
“Right now, we’re working out the details, the schedule and fees we’d charge,” said Maggie Chisholm, director of the Lewiston Recreation Department. “We have several of those loose ends to tie up.”
Crews should begin installing the cages in the Armory’s gymnasium next week, suspending them from the balcony. The cages include two adjustable-speed pitching machines, two L-screens to protect coaches and attendants operating the machines, rubber back stops and two cages made of wire fencing on the tops and both sides. Each cage will be 70 feet long by 12 feet wide.
Chisholm said there won’t be open time for individual athletes; blocks of time will be rented to the various leagues.
“We need to figure out rules and behavior so that we don’t have people just wandering around and getting themselves hurt,” she said. “And there will have to be an attendant there to monitor the machines and keep them operating.”
The cages initially will be available only to Lewiston teams and leagues.
Gee and Bee Sports is a member of national buying organization Sports Inc., which donates equipment grants to member stores. Those stores are expected to use those grants to help their communities. Gee and Bee’s grant to Lewiston amounts to an $8,000 donation.