For those who like their socializing with a side of axe throwing, go-kart racing, or mini golf, we have good news: there’s a high-end baseball training and entertainment facility coming to the area this fall.
The Ballpark Loudoun in Ashburn will be a 24,000 square-foot spot for pitching, batting, eating, and drinking—kind of like Topgolf, but for baseball and softball. It’s not only for folks looking for a little competitive socializing or a spot to host a company party—it’ll also target serious athletes, with private and group training, clinics, tournaments, leagues, membership options, and on-site coaches.
The project is spearheaded by Art Miller in partnership with Chris Bourassa, Laila Victorine, and Josh Swirchak of the local sports-facility development group Play to Win. The team knew Ashburn would be a great spot to launch the concept—not only is the project right by the One Loudoun development, but Northern Virginia is “a hotbed for active entertainment,” says Victorine. “You have Bowlero, you have Topgolf, you have Autobahn, things like that—being physically active and having that competitive socializing aspect—[are priorities].”
Inside, customers will find eight lanes where they can play and train. The group uses technology that makes it possible to play a virtual baseball game indoors. First, you have to pick which MLB stadium you want to go to bat in. Then the HitTrax technology pitches you a ball and, once you hit it, projects it virtually on to the screen, using the velocity and angle of your swing to determine if it was an out or a home run. And the ProBatter pitching system allows you to customize what kind of pitch you want to bat (and even allows you to pick from styles of famous pitchers).
These systems can help serious players improve and analyze their techniques over time, and the group anticipates that both teams and individuals will come in for training (baseball veterans Mike Toomey and Vince Capozza will oversee that program). But the systems also have game settings for the folks who are just stopping by for a birthday party—think batting practice or a home run face-off.
The spot will have a full-service restaurant and bar called Chibop, which will focus on fast-casual Korean food like bibimbap and kimchee pancakes, as well as over 100 stadium-style seats overlooking the batting lanes (yes, the seats have ballpark stadium-like cupholders).
Sure, nothing really beats heading to Nats Park, but the Ballpark crew aims to distill that experience down to a smaller footprint. “We wanted to really bring that ballpark setting and atmosphere indoors,” says Swirchak. “We wanted to create that energy and exciting feeling of being at the ballpark—that walk-in-the-concourse feeling, finding your seat, that wow factor of when you walk into a stadium.”
And Ashburn may not be the only spot where that’ll happen. Once the first location is open, the Ballpark hopes to expand within the region and then nationally.