STRASBURG — Cole and Danielle Haase purchased the former Master’s Touch Ministries property in Warren County with hopes of meeting a need of the region’s sports community.

The 10.5 acre property at 19959 Fort Valley Road, which will be known as Arena Sports and Events Center, has a 7,800-square-foot indoor pavilion that the couple plans to turn into a turfed sports and events complex. Plans include three rows of batting cages and turfed space for pitching and fielding drills.

The indoor space is expected to open around September.

“We’re trying to turn this space into sports and events. We were actually interested in the building, that was our big take on it,” Cole Haase said. “We want to do indoor batting cages.”

Without such amenities in Strasburg or Front Royal, he noted that many kids travel to Manassas or Winchester for batting cages.

The couple — who own On Cue Sports Bar & Grill in Front Royal — have been involved with Warren County Little League for years, having served as board members for two years and previously as coaches.

“We know there’s a need, and the sport is definitely growing,” Cole said. “There’s just not a whole lot of places kids can use.”

They also plan on at least building a usable infield for softball practices and hope to also construct two softball fields that can be used for tournaments.

The indoor space was originally built as a pavilion and accordion-style garage doors were added around its perimeter to create an open-air space for events or potential practices when needed.

The space features a kitchen, two concession stands, and a rollable stage.

The batting cages will be retractable to accommodate organizations that want to host events, Danielle said.

“With us being in this location, there are definitely organizations in Warren, Shenandoah and Frederick counties that would be able to use the space,” said Danielle, whose daughter just finished her freshman year as a member of Mary Baldwin University’s softball team.

While on travel softball teams in Frederick County and Strasburg, she noted that her daughter had to travel at least an hour for weekend tournaments.

“To have something in the middle of everything and to eventually put softball fields in and us be able to host travel tournaments, it would bring in a ton of teams,” Danielle said.

The couple — who have sponsored local athletics, their teams, and events — has been contacted by the Front Royal Cardinals, soccer associations and other travel sports interested in using the space.

“This has always been something Danielle has wanted to do — a sportsplex type center,” Cole said. “We’ve thought about moving On Cue and turning that into a batting care area, but this came up, we looked at it and thought it could really work.”

Cole said the church was ravaged by COVID-19, which led to church officials putting the property on the market. The church used to hold concerts and revivals in the indoor facility. The couple said they aren’t sure what they will do with the church building, but they plan on making repairs to it.

The property is zoned as agricultural, but they have submitted applications for conditional use permits.

“We just want to provide something really great for the community, especially since our kids are involved in softball,” Danielle said. “That’s helped us know where the need is.”

— Contact Matt Welch at mwelch@winchesterstar.com

(1) comment

Dennis Atwood

Great initiative. It's clear the Haases have given this a lot of thought. Indoor space for youth to enhance baseball and softball skills - a grand slam. Multipurpose space a bonus. Cheers!

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