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Flat Track Roller Derby Comes to the Buffalo Waterfront

Author Adrienne Boudreau:

The Queen City Roller Girls announced more details regarding their partnership with Buffalo RiverWorks earlier today (see yesterday’s post).

The design of the structure at RiverWorks will be the first ever to be built with the sport of roller derby in mind, though roller derby will, by far, not be the only entertainment the venue offers.

Construction on the entire complex is expected to be done, at the earliest, by Labor Day this year or, at the latest, by Christmas.

The roller derby track will actually be installed in the floor itself, though the flexibility of the building allows the floor and seating spaces to be used variably.

The track will be in constant view from the restaurant on a mezzanine overlooking the track. This will offer diners and drinkers the opportunity to watch practices or bouts from above, which is the optimal place to watch roller derby. A higher vantage point can highlight the strategies used in the game and make it easier to keep track of all the blockers and jammers. Trackside seating will still be offered of those who want to be closer to the action.


“There really won’t be a bad seat in the house though,” said RiverWorks developer Doug Swift, who led a tour of the complex earlier today.

The two outside tracks available in warmer weather, in conjunction with the inside one, offers QCRG the ability to start hosting regional and international tournaments with WFTDA, the governing body of women’s flat track roller derby.

Jason Isla, Chairman of the QCRG Board, emphasized that the league’s relationship with Rainbow Roller Rink in North Tonawanda is not over and the rink will continue to host practices, the junior league, boot camps and non-competitive recreational league. This will allow for most practice time availability and flexibility and could perhaps even prevent that one unlucky team each season from getting the dreaded 8am Sunday practice time. Even though these women are dedicated athletes they still have careers, families, and lives.

“The idea that we could be a part of revitalizing the waterfront really helped sell this idea to the skaters. And now we are a part of this new entertainment ecosystem at RiverWorks,” said Isla.

One of the hopes in moving the Queen City Roller Girls to RiverWorks is to increase attendance and use dues from the recreational league to help eliminate dues for the competitive skaters.

Some of the benefits of the move to RiverWorks include about 400 parking spots, the ability to have after parties at the same venue, traditional locker rooms with access to showers, craft beer on tap and of course, and a gorgeous view of the skyline from the Buffalo River.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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