DANVERS — After 20 years of providing a venue for baseball, softball and other sports, the Strike One Indoor Sports Complex closed its doors for good Saturday, according to a message on Strike One's website and on its voice mail in-box.
The poor economy and an inability to reach an agreement on new lease terms were the reasons the company has slid into history, one of the owners said in a statement on the website.
"The decision was made after several months of trying to negotiate a new lease in an effort to cut expenses to allow for a profitable business in a continually declining economy," co-owner Mark Lombardi wrote on the business's website.
"The last three years have been unprofitable, and the decision was made not to borrow any further funds to compensate for a 33 percent decline in revenues, which began in calendar year 2010."
Strike One will not reopen nor will it relocate, said Lombardi, who added he does not have any contact information for the building's owner, nor does he have any idea about the owner's plans.
"The building is empty of all games, equipment, batting cage netting and field netting at this point," Lombardi said.
Town records show the owner as 199 Turnpike LLC of North Reading. The building, on three acres bounded by Route 1 and Interstate 95, was sold by Motivated Properties LLC less than a year ago, in November 2010, for $3.2 million. The building, a warehouse built in 1974, is assessed at slightly more than $2.74 million.
Lombardi thanked the company's "thousands of supporters and customers who made Strike One a part of their lives as well as the hundreds of employees who made it a fun place to work, visit and learn."
The Outdoor Fall Softball League will continue, without access to Strike One for indoor practice.
The business gained some cache over the years because one of its owners was Eric Wedge, a former minor league baseball catcher, former Cleveland Indians and current Seattle Mariners manager.
Lombardi founded Strike One in Woburn and worked with Wedge through various baseball clinics. After working together, Wedge and Lombardi merged Motivated Sports and Strike One in 1997. Wedge would spend time at the complex in the offseason, running a yearly hitting clinic in mid-January.
Attempts to reach Lombardi at the facility's number and through email were unsuccessful yesterday evening.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673 or by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @DanverSalemNews.