Roller Derby Champions Face Eviction, and Time Is Running Out

Hey, does anyone have a spare warehouse? Help!

Comments

2

@orElse It's clear that the first picture features girls in that 8-12 age group. The second picture features girls 12-18 on the Galaxy Girls team. There are no "old ladies" playing in Seattle Derby Brats.

3

A huge THANK YOU to Nathalie and The Stranger for supporting our community and getting the word out! Folks interested in more info about our junior derby league can visit SeattleDerbyBrats.com or send queries to info at seattledebybrats.com.

4

Thank you for featuring Seattle Derby Brats and Rat City Rolller Derby. So many teams in Seattle are in need of practice space. Tilted Thunder, a banked track team, has to keep their track in storage and bounce between Ballard and Everett practice spaces. Rainier Roller Girls lost their space, and almost their league, last fall. PFM, the only rec league in Seattle, was recently asked to remove their track tape from their practice space. Women and girl athletes in this city need your support!

5

Thanks for highlighting the precarious nature of derby in Seattle and featuring the amazing awesomeness of SDB and Rat City. We have so many amazing leagues (Rat, Rainier, Tilted, PFM, etc) and like Arson said above, each league has been at risk (or still is!) of losing space or their existence entirely. The derby community needs as much support as we can get.

6

So glad to see local coverage on a largely female and compatibly non-binary sport that serves over 800 skaters in the Seattle metro area alone. Unfortunately over the past several years, this lack of public support and scarcity of resources and physical space has impacted every team in the area. Nonprofit recreational league, PFM Roller Derby, has made tremendous strides in preparing a proposal to the city for a dedicated facility, garnered the support of the LGBTQIA commission, and has just launched free roller skating sessions in an effort to make roller sports accessible, yet face near daily resistance from Seattle Parks and Rec. Please consider opening up the scope of this story to address the larger inequity afoot.

7

So what used to be a sport with full gender equity is now female-only and we're supposed to view this as progress? No, madame.

8

@vennominon There are many coed teams around. This story is about one organization dedicated to supporting girls. Consistently, female athletic programs are under supported yet these programs are critical for girls to learn life skills, skills that males get regularly through team sports.

9

Maybe they can talk to these folks & see if they have any ideas. They seem to be onto something:
https://www.spaceworkstacoma.com/

10

As a decade plus long fan of local Roller Derby, this is very disheartening news. The best of luck in finding a new facility for Rat and the Juniors. That being said, I hope they are not committed to Seattle proper due to the premium cost of real estate in the city and the willingness of the Real Estate and Property Management powers that be to turn any available lot, warehouse, or low rise building into high cost rental housing and commercial space for the biggest bang of the buck. Considering such real politik, putting all the eggs in the basket of Seattle proper for a facility may lead to dead ends and league extinctions. I believe the leagues should start looking at south king county if they haven't done so already, e.g., Tukwila, Kent. A little farther from the bulk of the fan base, but potentially more fruitful in cost, availability and keeping a rad sport alive in the Seattle area.

If Rat and the Juniors find a space in Seattle, that'll be great, but I wouldn't bet all the skates and pads on it.

11

Ms Olivia - Not in my part of the country, there aren't. It has been re-established as Women Only, and that fact has been celebrated as a Major Improvement over the days when the only sport that was more egalitarian was World Team Tennis.

Develop as many sport programmes for girls as can be sustained, and more power to them. Just don't call it an improvement to kick out boys.

12

@7 you really don’t get it do you?
@8 thank you for setting the record straight.

It’s too bad this is happening, I had always thought the RCRG’s & their younger teams were turning a profit. Sad to learn this is not the case.

13

In response to those who suggest a longer-distance move, that ultimately won't work. Every move--like when RCRG moved the comparatively short distance from Ballard to Shoreline a few years ago--means a sizable turnover in league membership.

The problem is that the skaters, coaches, referees, and non-skating officials--all of whom are volunteers--live where they live, and can only commute so far to practices, which for top-level teams are held several times a week. Moving RCRG and SDB to Tacoma, for example, would in effect mean shutting them down and starting up new organizations with different participants who live in the new area.

Even skaters on world-class teams are not professional athletes--by which I mean that they are totally unpaid, and in fact pay dues for the privilege of skating! They can only practice where they can get to, between home and work commitments.

Location is even more a problem for juniors skaters, who can only make practices their parents can drive them to. If it's not near where the skaters live, it's simply not an option for them.

14

2 don't worry about it. Nahatalie takes care of any comment that doesn't echo the story. Because journalism.

15

@7 – In the Pacific Northwest there are numerous adult and junior leagues for all genders and non-binary. The Seattle Derby Brats was founded around helping girls in a positive environment. For the record, SDB's 12-18 yr old's actually bout against coed teams from all over very successfully.

I'm not sure what part of the country you’re in but it is pretty easy to setup a league. If there is an interest maybe you should consider starting up a male or co-ed league in your area. The biggest problem in Seattle is the cost of real estate has skyrocketed over the last 10 years making it challenging for the any of the smaller nonprofits to survive.

https://www.juniorrollerderby.org/page/show/2944867-becoming-a-member-league
https://mrda.org/resources/startingaleague/