Middletown's The Yard offers cutting-edge training for baseball, softball players

May 22—The Yard Sports Development recently held its grand opening in Middletown, offering advanced baseball and softball training in a state-of-the-art complex with more in the works at the space still under renovation.

Located on Commerce Drive just off Interstate 75 in the city's East End, the facility has six batting cages, a pitching cage and a versatile open area that accommodates a variety of training.

"Our mission at The Yard Sports Development is to provide a comprehensive training environment that utilizes cutting-edge technology to support athletic growth," said O.V. Hakanson, CEO and director of training. "With the addition of the HitTrax and Rapsodo systems, our facility is among the elite places where serious athletes can come to hone their skills, understand their performance in depth and turn weaknesses into strengths. We're also excited to offer a fun, recreational outlet for families and casual players seeking a unique sporting experience."

The venture is a family effort with brother Chet Hakanson and Chet's wife Christena at the former location of a motorcycle dealership.

When remodeling is complete, plans call for a restaurant run by Christena and their son as well as a muscle recovery center.

The Hakansons' grew up in the Middletown area and thought the location was a good move, especially with the city's resurgence.

"This is a big building, but we are slowly transforming it," Chet Hakanson said. He and his wife were owners of a Tropical Smoothie shop in Centerville, Ohio, for more than 20 years before selling and starting the new venture. "I used to go to downtown Middletown all the time growing up, and Middletown needs some tender loving care right now. And we thought this would be a great building to transform into our dream."

O.V. Hakanson is involved with Midland Baseball, which practices out of the facility, but The Yard is now open to the public.

In addition to serving as a training center, The Yard opened to the public this month as a top-tier batting cage facility. Whether you're looking for a fun and engaging way to spend the day or aiming to improve your batting skills, the facility offers something for everyone. Visitors can enjoy the thrill of baseball and softball in a friendly and inviting environment.

"We invite athletes, teams and the general public to explore our offerings, participate in training sessions or just come down for some batting practice fun," the owners said.

For more information about the facility, technology and training programs, or to book a session, contact or contact Chet Hakanson at Or call 513-433-1069

Hours are: Monday — Friday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sunday: noon to 6 p.m.