BATL: Our Year in Review
It all started almost 13 years ago, in a fairly predictable fashion: on a trip to a cabin in the woods. Back in 2006, founder and CEO Matt Wilson to a cabin in Southern Ontario with his closest pals and after hours of rain, they had to find a way to keep busy. The group began throwing hatches at a tree, and instantly felt the cathartic release of sinking an axe into softwood. They might not have known it at the time, but this was the start of something huge.
With 2018 ending and our sights firmly set on 2019, it’s important to take a minute to think about the year that passed. 2018 was a huge year for the Backyard Axe Throwing League, and we’re happy to have been able to share it with everyone. After the immediate success of our first location in the United States with BATL Nashville, we started off 2018 by cementing in the US market, cementing BATL as the premier axe throwing destination in the world.
BATL’s US Expansion
First up in January of 2018, BATL joined forces with Thunderbolt Axe Throwing to bring BATL Chicago to the masses. Just north-west of the popular Bucktown and Logan Square areas is where you’ll find BATL Chicago. Situated n the area of Old Irving Park, and just blocks away from Irving Park Station on the MTA Blue Line, BATL Chicago has been bringing the thrill of urban axe throwing to the Windy City for over a year now, and we’re just getting started.
Earlier this year, BATL opened its 3rd venue in the US (in the past year, no less). Situated just 8 miles from the City of Detroit, the community of Novi has been one of the fastest growing cities in the state of Michigan for years. The Backyard Axe Throwing League Novi opened earlier this year and is the premier axe throwing facility in metro Detroit. The venue is located at Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk near West Oaks Shopping Centre, in the heart of Novi. Our newest location has been an instant success thanks to a warm welcome from our surrounding community, and we’re excited to continue bringing the unique thrill of axe throwing to Metro Detroit.
To end the year with a bang, we set our sights on Arizona. This December, BATL Scottsdale opened its doors, bringing our unique brand of fun to the Valley of the Sun. Scottsdale may have a reputation as a travel destination, but it’s also a city brimming with a vibrant community, arts, and much more. It’s a city that promises abundant amenities, from vibrant outdoor activities and sports to a thriving downtown and waterfront. The city of over 220,000 inhabitants is known for the excellent quality of life mixed with tourist appeal. BATL is excited to become part of the Scottsdale community, opening our 14th location that will serve the entire area of Greater Phoenix including Tempe, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, and more.
Axe Throwing & Charitable Support
In 2018, BATL supported the cause of more than 350 local, regional, and national organizations across North America. Through private fundraising events, we helped raise over $250,000 for registered charities. In addition to that, BATL itself contributed over $20,000 to The Red Door Family Shelter – which is a non-profit that features a dedicated and caring staff team address the particular needs of families in crisis.
At The Backyard Axe Throwing League, we’re always looking for new ways to make a positive impact on the communities surrounding our venues. Since 2006 we’ve hosted dozens of fundraising events and donated our services to a number of local charities and non-profit organizations such as schools, hospitals and other special causes. With 14 locations in North America (including Toronto, Niagara Falls, London, Kitchener, Pickering, Ottawa, Calgary, Nashville, Chicago, Detroit (Novi), and Scottsdale) we have a unique opportunity to make a real difference in all the communities that we are part of, and we’re always searching for more ways to spread the love. The Backyard Axe Throwing League prides itself in being a strong social hub and positive corporate citizen in all communities in which we operate. Each location works directly with local charities on a monthly basis to support axe throwing fundraising activities.
If you are looking for a unique experience for your charitable fundraiser, look no further. The Backyard Axe Throwing League is the perfect backdrop for you and your guests to raise money while competing in the friendly competition, all under the guidance of our expertly trained coaches in a safe environment. To find out more about hosting your next charitable event, head to our website and contact us!
National Axe Throwing Federation (NATF) And AxeScores
As BATL has spread urban axe throwing across North America and beyond, we have been constantly pushing the boundaries of the sport. This is most evidenced in the National Axe Throwing Federation (NATF) – of which BATL is a founding member – and our AxeScores program. Through AxeScores we’ve tracked over 25 Million unique axe throws, and we’re just scratching the surface. 2018 saw hundreds of people join an axe throwing league (joining the thousands already represented in the NATF), with many of them competing in tournaments throughout the US and Canada. BATL’s very own Straun Riley (now the GM of our newest Scottsdale location) took home the National Axe Throwing Championship at this year’s event held at BATL Toronto, and countless members experienced the community vibes that are the essence of all of our axe throwing leagues.
We want to say thank you to everyone that helped make this such a special year for BATL – we truly couldn’t have done it without you – and we can’t wait to share what we have in store for 2019 with you. From all of us at BATL, we wish you a happy and healthy 2019!