Grand opening planned Saturday at MVP Sports Academy

  • Arturo Saenz, left, and Wil Benjamin are the co-owners of the new MVP Sports Academy in Lake Zurich.

      Arturo Saenz, left, and Wil Benjamin are the co-owners of the new MVP Sports Academy in Lake Zurich. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Batting tunnels have been upgraded at MVP Sports Academy in Lake Zurich.

      Batting tunnels have been upgraded at MVP Sports Academy in Lake Zurich. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • New batting cages have been installed at MVP Sports Academy in Lake Zurich.

      New batting cages have been installed at MVP Sports Academy in Lake Zurich. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • The waiting room at MVP Sports Academy in Lake Zurich.

      The waiting room at MVP Sports Academy in Lake Zurich. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Arturo Saenz, left, and Wil Benjamin are the co-owners of MVP Sports Academy in Lake Zurich. They are hosting a grand opening Saturday.

      Arturo Saenz, left, and Wil Benjamin are the co-owners of MVP Sports Academy in Lake Zurich. They are hosting a grand opening Saturday. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • The waiting room at MVP Sports Academy in Lake Zurich.

      The waiting room at MVP Sports Academy in Lake Zurich. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

The new owners of a sports training facility in Lake Zurich spent the past five months upgrading the facility with a major renovation, all with the goal to make athletes better.

The renovation of the former Homerun Sports and Fitness at 140 Oakwood Road took place in two phases, said co-owner Wil Benjamin of Mundelein. He runs the business with Art Saenz of South Barrington.

The new owners are planning a grand opening celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. Appearances by professional athletes, Wiffle ball games, a HitTrax home run contest, bat demonstrations and raffles for Chicago Bears, Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Bandits tickets are part of the event.

The business partners, who renamed the business MVP Sports Academy, met about five years ago when their sons, now 15, played on the same baseball team in Barrington. The academy is launching just as the weather turns cooler and teams begin training indoors.

The owners, who had been members at Homerun for several years, both work as engineers. Saenz is COO at GSG Consultants in Chicago and Benjamin is with Rich Products Corp.

They purchased the new facility in the spring from Kildeer resident Todd Mueller, who ran the business for the past decade. The new owners say their goal to specialize in educational and developmental instruction. "It's all about driving the athlete to the next level of performance," said Benjamin, 47.

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A sports performance center will operate within the business. Deep Impact Performance Training (DIPT) owner Olen McGhee will assist with the new Lake Zurich business to provide methodology, specialists and equipment meant to prepare athletes for peak performance. DIPT Sports, which also has a facility in Mundelein, will offer assessments designed to help determine what athletes need to work on to take them to the next level through one-on-one training.

The new academy has a full-size infield that will replaces coin-operated batting cages. This area will allow for softball games and baseball games for teams up to the 12-year-old age level.

HitTrax simulators as well as online booking for tunnels and lessons are other new features. Teams, including lacrosse, baseball and softball, are renting space in the facility to train during the winter.

Benjamin said it's their mission to "provide educational and developmental programs instructed by an elite group of coaches who specialize in all aspects of baseball, softball and speed and agility."

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