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Gearing up for BATL

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The company behind the creation of modern-day recreational indoor ax-throwing is coming to Downtown Albuquerque this spring with the opening of the Backyard Axe Throwing League at 1 Central.

“We’re super excited to be at that address in the heart of Downtown,” BATL Founder Matt Wilson said in a phone interview.

The Canada-based company has 19 locations spread across North America, with nine of those in the United States. Several locations are in the Southwest.

“The (Albuquerque) location worked well with the other locations we’re opening up,” Wilson said.

Wilson said BATL’s Albuquerque location is scheduled to open in April, but that timeline could change if construction is delayed.

Once opened, the 4,000-square-foot location will feature 16 targets and bar service. Wilson plans to hire between 12 and 20 employees for part- and full-time positions

Patrons will be able to walk in and throw, join a league for weekly events or book VIP experiences that include an instructor and party games.

The Albuquerque location will feature a kitchen and full bar with locally brewed beers.

While not the first venue in Albuquerque to offer ax-throwing – ABQ AX at 2809 Broadbent opened in late 2017 – BATL claims to be the originator of the modern-day sport.

Wilson said the concept began out of boredom on a camping trip in 2006. After the trip, Wilson set up targets in his backyard and began hosting mini ax-throwing competitions between friends. Five years later, BATL opened its first location in Canada.

Since that trip, ax-throwing has spread across the world, Wilson said.

“The growth has been unbelievably exciting,” Wilson said of the sport.

To create a more unified sport, BATL helped create the International Axe Throwing Federation, which unified rules and helped create competition, Wilson said.

Currently BATL hosts eight tournaments across North America, but Wilson said he hopes to see that number grow with BATL’s expansion.


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