World Axe Throwing League coach opens downtown Albany location | Downtown Albany

World Axe Throwing League coach opens downtown Albany location

ALBANY – The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) and Mayor Kathy Sheehan joined founder Benn MacDonald in officially welcoming Far Shot Recreation to Downtown on October 11 with a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration. The entertainment destination offers axe-throwing, knife-throwing, and archery six days a week at the new 69 N Pearl Street location.

The first such entertainment destination to open in Downtown, Far Shot’s newest location offers 10 targets for the sports and comes after two months of renovations to the space, and as the company expands beyond existing locations in Canada and Syracuse.

Through their association with, and 2017 championship title from, the World Axe Throwing League (WATL), Far Shot has an edge on the competition; MacDonald serves as head coach and head referee for the organization that started with 16 affiliates in 2017 and has since grown to over 150 in over 20 countries and 6 continents. In his capacity as ref, MacDonald calls all official ESPN televised matches for the WATL including the Canadian Open, US Open, and upcoming World Championship, to air in December.

“What’s great about axe-throwing is we see new players all the time, and they can quickly grow into a top contender within months. All it takes is practice, passion for the game, and the axe-throwing community,” said MacDonald. “We're really excited to be here in Albany, to offer our Urban games and to grow the sports in the community. Being part of the Downtown culture was what we strived for when we were looking for our new home.  We love the historic charm, current energy, and dynamic future that's here.  We look forward to working with the local businesses as we add to the growing entertainment Downtown.”

“Far Shot Recreation is a welcomed and exciting addition to Downtown,” said Mayor Sheehan. “We are thrilled they have chosen Albany’s urban center as part of their expansion and for the vibrancy this adds to an already bustling corridor.”

While axe-throwing may be one of the oldest sports, it is among the newer outing ideas for those on a date, joining a league, out for corporate team building, celebrating a divorce, or anything in between; the National Axe Federation reporting an estimated 40 million axes having been thrown worldwide since the urbanization of the game. Participants utilize purposefully dulled axes and knives, are always under the direction of a coach, and must adhere to requirements that include closed toe footwear, waivers, following safety instructions at all times, and those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

MacDonald notes that walk-in times are ideal for groups less than six people, with a recommendation that groups of 6 or more choose an activity and reserve private lanes. Cost starts at $25 per person, with the option to add on additional activities for $5 per person. Food and beverages available for purchase.

“Albany’s newest neighborhood and central business district continues to draw world-class amenities, giving our 20,000 daytime employees and over 1,000 residents new ways to enjoy Downtown,” said Georgette Steffens, executive director of the Downtown Albany BID. “Far Shot Recreation offers an incredible way to spend a date night, get to know neighbors or co-workers, and reimagine what can exist inside the historic buildings found within our District.”

Open houses are being held October 11 from 5:00-10:00 PM and October 12 from Noon-10:00 PM for the community to come and sample the axe-throwing, knife-throwing, and archery offered under the direction of coaches. To celebrate their opening weekend, Far Shot Recreation will be giving away F’ n A – Fries and Axe-throwing – for a whole year to 10 randomly selected open houses attendees.

Far Shot Recreation hours are Monday-Friday 10:00 AM-6:00 PM (by reservation) and 6:00-9:00 PM (drop-in) and Saturday 10:00 AM-3:00 PM (by reservation) and 3:00-10:00 PM (drop in). More information at or by calling 518.898.9167.