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D-Bat still awaiting reopening after driver crashed through front doors

Posted at 5:23 PM, Dec 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-11 19:23:17-05

Last year, a truck smashed through the front doors of D-Bat Baseball and Softball Academy at Rimrock Mall, and due to insurance issues, the business has still not been able to reopen its doors.

Brandon Wood always dreamed of opening his own business. Unfortunately, his first two years as the owner of D-Bat in Billings have been full of unpredictable twists and turns.

“It’s tough, when you’re with your family, you know," Wood said. "You’re used to going to work every day and now your home. You’re trying to figure out like ‘what am I doing?’”

D-Bat first opened in Billings during the pandemic, which immediately put Wood and his family in a tight spot. The family navigated that year and were in the middle of a strong second year before a truck — traveling up to 70 miles per hour — crashed through their building in a fatal one car accident.

“That’s probably been the hardest part is it being out of our control,” Wood said.

Wood and his family attempted to roll with the punches — initially targeting a reopening date 3 months after the accident occurred. Between construction setbacks and problems with insurance, they were forced to keep pushing the date back.

“After the accident, you know, you see some damage, but you don’t necessarily understand how much more damage there is," Wood said. "We thought we’d be open in 3 months, and it’s been 13 months."

D-Bat is a part of a national franchise that offers indoor baseball facilities to customers all around the country. Wood said they chose the same insurance that many other D-Bat's do, but it hasn't been able to cover everything.

“Unfortunately, somehow, we were under insured," Wood said. "So, when you get that news it kind of stops you in your tracks and you try to figure out what you’re going to do next.”

And now, 13 months later, they still are unsure of when they will be able to open, although Wood is hoping that they might be able to sometime in February 2023.

“We can see it. It looks close, but unfortunately, we’re just hanging onto having to get a loan for some more money, and once that goes through the rest of the business can be done,” Wood said.

But whenever opening day finally arrives, Wood can't wait to provide something special for the community of Billings.

“You want all the little kids, all the big kids, all the parents, everybody to come in and enjoy the facility," Wood said. "That was always the point."