Launching The 108: Morwenna Hall from Related Argent, Ben Ladkin from Major League Baseball Europe, Cllr Ammar Naqvi, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, Arts & Sports, Maxwell Trautman and Michael Wakelam from The 108 and Matthew Palmer from the US Embassy
Last night (Tuesday, 23 January), we celebrated a brilliant new addition to Brent Cross Town ‘The 108’ – the first indoor baseball and softball centre in Europe.
The launch event was full of excitement, with people eager to try out the sport and watch professional players on the field including the GB National Youth baseball team and guests also got a taste of the new American-style BBQ and sports bar.
Hundreds of people joined the celebration, including local residents and baseball fans, the great and the good of UK baseball and sporting bodies such as Women in Sport, as well as the organisations that have been involved in bringing The 108 to life.
The 108 provides world-class training facilities which will help grow local and UK talent. The centre has four batting cages which have been provided by the popular American baseball game centre HitTrax, as well as two throwing lanes and a full-size adult field. The batting cages have a technology feature that allows players to see how far they can ‘hit’ a ball in a Stadium, capturing real time measurements such as arm strength, launch angle and distance. They can be booked out as a fun activity or for some serious batting practice.
And it’s not just for baseball and softball players and fans. The centre also has a sports bar, a café and a popular American restaurant called Smoke&Bones that serves barbecue and smokehouse food and has halal options. Visitors can also buy baseball merchandise and there is space available to hire to host parties and events. Providing a unique new destination for existing and future residents to enjoy.
Barnet Councillor Ammar Naqvi, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, Arts & Sports, said: “We are delighted to officially open this unique, world-class baseball facility in Barnet. Participation in baseball has grown in the borough over the years and The 108 will play a fundamental role in supporting both local and UK talent in this sport. It also provides an exciting, fun place for local residents to meet and new ways for people to get active. All made possible by the Brent Cross Town development and the dedication of the teams behind The 108.”
The 108 owners Michael Wakelam and Maxwell Trautman, added: “We’ve poured the passion we have for baseball and softball into building a world class facility that not only enables the sports to develop in the UK, but enables growth of the sports as people get to experience the thrill of hitting a baseball or softball for the first time. We’re tremendously excited to share The 108 with London and beyond and are grateful for the support we have received from Major League Baseball, BaseballSoftballUK and the wider communities.”
The 108 is one of the first activity hubs in Brent Cross Town, which will see its first residents moving in from 2024. Brent Cross Town is an £8bn net zero park town that is being delivered in partnership between Related Argent and Barnet Council. It is one of the UK’s largest regeneration projects and will create 6,700 new homes, 3 million sq ft of offices, student housing and homes for later living, as well as a high street, schools and 50 acres of parks and playing fields.
Morwenna Hall, Partner at Related Argent, said: “The 108 is a brilliant addition to Brent Cross Town and an exciting first for London, and for the local community, providing an accessible way to get involved in baseball. Above all it’s a lot of fun and demonstrates our commitment to create the place in London for participation in play and sport that offers a variety of different experiences and opportunities for the local community and wider capital.”
This new opening comes at a time where Barnet launches its bid for London Borough of Culture 2027. The 108 is now another exciting and unique location in the area that helps promote and celebrate the borough’s cultural identity as well as offering new ways for people to get activity and enjoy sport.
The 108 is open from 4pm to 9pm on weekdays and from 9am to 10pm on weekends. Batting sessions prices start from £16. For more information and to book your slot, visit the108.co.uk.
How to get there?
The centre is less than a five minutes’ walk from London’s newest mainline station, Brent Cross West, which opened in December. Thameslink trains connect commuters from central London to Brent Cross West in as little as 12 minutes, so visitors can easily plan their trip to the centre.
The station also provides a gateway to the new neighbourhood Brent Cross Town via a new overbridge that links communities on both sides of the station, making it much easier to get around the area and for people from Brent to visit the centre.
Brent Cross Town is the neighbourhood at the heart of the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration programme, find out more on our webpages.