By Adrienne Boudreau:
In an exciting move, Buffalo’s flat track roller derby team will be moving to the waterfront in time for the 2015 season, making a home for themselves at Buffalo RiverWorks – an adaptive reuse project at the former GLF milling operation – learn more here.
The 60, 000 square foot indoor venue will not only feature an indoor derby track but several bars, restaurants and an onsite brewery in a former grain silo. The indoor-outdoor entertainment complex will be the second largest venue in Buffalo, behind the First Niagara Center.
The Queen City Roller Girls (QCRG) currently practice and bout at Rainbow Roller Rink in North Tonawanda. This move would centralize things not only for players, but for fans as well. Buffalo RiverWorks will offer ample parking for their events and will hopefully make the sport more accessible for fans from the South Towns.
As a former member of the QCRG I can say how unique this move will make Buffalo in terms of the growing roller derby movement – to have their roller derby team in the actual city, on the water, in a venue that is being retrofitted to accommodate the league… this is what roller derby dreams are made of.
Most times when we would hit the road for an away game with another city, the bouts were usually played at random, older skating rinks or sports centers 15 miles from the city center. Fans and traveling skaters got to experience very little of the city that the home team represented. As we would drive away from each bout, I would look longingly at whatever city’s skyline wondering “Why?” Why had I just sat in a minivan with seven other adult women for fifteen hours to not even see downtown Grand Rapids?
Knowing that other teams from other cities will be traveling here, staying in the city and experiencing downtown Buffalo (and the waterfront) is so exciting, because it will truly make the roller derby scene here a unique experience. This move will undoubtedly make Buffalo a premiere roller derby destination in the US.
The Queen City Roller Girls will announce more details about their move to the eight acre development tomorrow at 10 am. Stay tuned.
Additional outdoor plans at Riverworks include two seasonal ice hockey rinks that were unveiled at the 2014 Labatt Pond Hockey Tournament (rink areas will be used for alternative sports in the summer), an outdoor beach beer garden, volleyball courts and 750 feet of waterfront docks for recreational boaters.