Tonawanda News — The Queen City Roller Girls are leaving North Tonawanda — sort of.
The amateur women’s flat track roller derby league — which has competed at NT’s Rainbow Roller Rink since its inception in 2006 — announced Tuesday that it will move to Buffalo RiverWorks, the new entertainment and event center planned for downtown.
There, the league will have a facility with a 98-by-66-foot derby track, the first of its kind in the nation, said Corey Hart (derby name: Giant Boy Detective), co-chairman of public relations for the league.
“The plans are that the venue should be complete late fall, early winter, in time for the start of our 2014 season,” he said. “As soon as the venue’s done, we’ll start moving some practice time down there.”
The new facility will have room for about 2,000 seats, as opposed to about 800 to 1,000 at the NT rink, where bouts were regularly packed, Hart said. However, the league plans to maintain a relationship with the rink.
“Part of it’s (we are) beginning to outgrow the Rainbow Rink, but we’re still fully planning to keep a significant amount of practice there,” he said. Training sessions will also take place in NT, as will a new recreational league the QCRG plans to start next summer.
Derby players provided input into the design of the new track, which is unique because it’s the first purpose-built flat-track roller derby venue in the country, Hart said. “It’s great for the sport ... because it’s for the most part converted arenas and roller rinks.”
The Queen City Roller Girls were started in 2006 by skaters Sissy Fit and Flotorious and became a full member of the WFTDA in 2010. The league has four home teams (Alley Kats, Devil Dollies, Nickel City Knockouts and the Suicidal Saucies), which skate against each other for the Queen City Cup during the regular season; a WFTDA-sanctioned all-star team, the Lake Effect Furies, which plays against other teams in the Eastern region; and the Queen’s Court, composed of players that have not yet been drafted to the other teams.