Charlottesville Derby Dames Losing Practice Facility For New Shopping Ctr.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A popular Charlottesville sports team is scrambling to find a new venue.
The Derby Dames roller derby team is getting kicked out of the warehouse they practice in to make way for a highly anticipated new grocery store.
Team members have been practicing at the facility off Fifth Street Extended for the last 3 years, and say they don't have any other long term options right now.
The Derby Dames have been a fixture of Charlottesville sports since 2007, giving women in the area one of the few outlets to play a contact sport.
Team member Jackie Kim said, “We just want to practice, we want to play, we want to try something new and challenging."
Kim says they also had plans to develop programs to get some younger ladies in the rink.
"We were entertaining the idea of a junior derby; junior roller derby team so, right now the biggest issue is that finding the right space,” said Kim.
The Derby Dames practice and play in a warehouse off Fifth Street Extended, where a developer plans to build a new Wegman's grocery store. That means the dames are out December first to make way for construction.
Member Lara Fisher says since coming to the facility in 2011, the team has improved and are now ranked 79th worldwide. She doesn't want that to change.
"When you can't practice as much as we can, ourgame playy is going to seriously suffer,” said Fisher.
She also says it's not just the players who could lose out.
"We have a lot of community involvement. We do the security for CLAW, we do lots of volunteering, and all of our bouts give proceeds back to charity, so there's a lot of pieces that we feel will be lost if we're not able to continue to do that."
Going forward, the team plans to practice a few days a week in the Fishersville Expo. The Derby Dames hope to find a permanent home to keep the hits coming in Charlottesville.
The property landlord tells NBC29 the building is falling apart and he had been looking for a company to move in for some time. He says he's trying to help the dames find another space and calls the team great tenants.