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Europe's first indoor venue for baseball and softball opens at Brent Cross Town

The 108, a pioneering indoor baseball and softball destination, has opened in Brent Cross Town, the £8bn net zero park town for London which is being delivered in partnership between Related Argent and Barnet Council.

The first of its kind in Europe, The 108 is a place for baseball and softball players and fans, a playground for training, development and fun, that provides exceptional facilities for sport and play, alongside a sports bar and barbecue food.

The 40,000 sq ft indoor facility allows year-round practice and coaching, supporting everything from elite training to youth and social games, as well as casual hitting practice for anyone wanting to try the sports for the first time.

Interest in 'America's National Pastime' has been steadily growing in the UK, with an estimated 20,000 UK residents now playing baseball and softball. Over 110,000 fans watched in person as the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals faced off at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park's London Stadium last summer, with more Major League games between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies coming to London in June 2024.

The 108 will be an excellent addition to Brent Cross Town with first residents moving in from 2024, and for the wider local area and London. Brent Cross Town is one of the UK’s largest regeneration projects and will feature 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.

The 108’s ambition is to broaden and deepen the presence of these exciting and accessible sports across London and the UK. This will involve supporting the grassroots growth of the game, linking into a growing national network of clubs. Alongside this, the state-of-the-art year-round facility is expected to enhance performance at an elite and Olympic level, important in the lead up to the Los Angeles Games in 2028, which will include baseball and softball as Olympic sports.

Supported by UK sporting body BaseballSoftballUK, and by Major League Baseball, The 108 is already home to the UK's indoor softball league, hosting adult league Saturdays as well as baseball and softball development and high-performance academies.

Facilities at the venue include four dual-sport batting cages, two throwing lanes and a full-size adult infield. The batting cages are equipped with HitTrax, an exciting simulation technology that is the latest addition to the competitive gaming scene. This allows players to see how far they can 'hit' a ball in Yankee Stadium, capturing real time metrics including arm strength, launch angle, exit velocity and distance.

The 108 is open to the public seven days a week, from 4pm - 9pm weekdays and from 9am – 10pm on weekends, with batting sessions starting at £16. The venue is less than five minutes' walk from Brent Cross West station, which opened in December and is served by Thameslink services that connect with central London in as little as 12 minutes. Celebrated American restaurant, Smoke&Bones, is located inside the venue, serving barbecue and smokehouse food including halal options, alongside a café and bar with big screens showing Major League Baseball games. Visitors can buy baseball merchandise and there is space available to hire to host parties and events.

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.”

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’s Michael Wakelam and Maxwell Trautman, said: “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.”

Ben Ladkin, Managing Director of Major League Baseball Europe, added: “The 108 is yet more evidence of the growth of baseball in the UK and Europe and we’re really excited to see the centre open and provide a venue where people can play and experience baseball all year round. With the third London Series, featuring the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets, coming to London Stadium on June 8-9, this is another big year for baseball in the UK. The 108 is an excellent addition for the thriving baseball community.”

The 108, Brent Terrace, Brent Cross NW2 1LT
https://www.the108.co.uk/ 

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About Brent Cross Town:
Brent Cross Town is the neighbourhood at the heart of the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration programme. It is a joint venture between Related Argent and Barnet Council to develop a large-scale mixed-use development including new homes, retail and office space, as well as improved schools and greenspaces in the area. Early work started on site in early 2020. Building on the strengths of this diverse part of the city, Brent Cross Town will draw inspiration from the best of London’s long-established neighbourhoods with all their complexity and character.

At its heart, will be a focus on sport, play, health and well-being. The new neighbourhood will provide 6,700 homes, state-of-the-art workspace for over 25,000 people, and pedestrian friendly streets and squares with local shops and restaurants that will complement the offer at Brent Cross Shopping Centre. The community will be supported by first-class public transport infrastructure, a new and improved network of walking and cycle routes and a series of new parks and other amenities. www.brentcrosstown.co.uk @brentcrosstown

Related Argent is making four significant pledges for Brent Cross Town:

  • To create the place in London to participate in sport and play: with indoor facilities and 50 acres of parks, Brent Cross Town will provide the best of both traditional and emerging sports, working with leading sports organisations, governing bodies and hero ambassadors to help drive female participation and champion diversity and inclusion.
  • To make a new North London town where all can flourish. Brent Cross Town will launch a Flourishing Index which will pioneer the measurement of how individuals and communities flourish in a town centre. Partnering with Manchester University and Buro Happold, this approach represents a landmark moment in designing a development for mental health and wellbeing and demonstrates that Brent Cross Town is at the forefront of people-centred design.
  • To be a net zero carbon town by 2030. This will be achieved by driving down the embodied carbon in buildings and infrastructure, the carbon used in energy supply and offsetting the remainder. Partnering with Vattenfall, Brent Cross Town will deliver reliable and affordable zero carbon heating to homes, shops and businesses.
  • To strengthen existing connections, both locally and into Central London; connecting businesses, customers, friends and family. Brent Cross Town is in an enviable location – 12 minutes to Central London, immediate access to the M1 and 5 major airports within one hour. Locally, new pedestrian and cycle routes will integrate Brent Cross Town with its surrounding communities.

About Related Argent:
In 2015, Argent and Related joined forces to create an unrivalled UK property business and urban regeneration specialist. The company brings together the expertise and track record of Argent – the developer behind some of Britain’s most successful mixed-use places, and Related – one of the most innovative and prolific real estate companies in the US. The combined experience delivering ground breaking projects such as King’s Cross in London, Hudson Yards and Deutsche Bank Center in New York, Brindleyplace in Birmingham, The Square in West Palm Beach, Florida and The Grand LA in Los Angeles is brought to bear on each of the projects.

Related Argent operates across a range of property sectors including residential, workspace, education, shopping, hospitality and leisure. Its work goes beyond bricks and mortar development. It also specialises in the services, facilities and experiences that are so important to urban life – art, culture, events, schools, skills & training programmes and renewable energy networks.

Related Argent is one of the UK’s leading developer-owner-operators and, since its inception eight years ago, has rapidly grown a £9Bn+, 12m sq ft mixed-use development pipeline. This includes major regeneration projects in London, at Brent Cross Town and Tottenham Hale, as well as a Build-to-Rent (BtR) scheme at King’s Cross, known as ‘Author King’s Cross’. It’s accessing global capital markets to deliver major new projects across the UK and is seeking to expand its BtR housing portfolio. On 1 May 2024, Argent will transfer all employees, projects and assets to Related Argent Limited.

Related Argent’s vision is to be a great city builder – for people, planet, and prosperity and its purpose is to improve urban life for all, everyday. This means developing for the long term - astutely, sustainably and with a sense of social purpose. Related Argent is delivering the places, homes, workspace, public space, arts, culture, events and services that our UK cities and town centres need. www.argentllp.co.uk