8,000 Pound Roller Derby Star Needs a Home

Sunday, January 25th 2009, 9:10 pm
By: News 9

By Christian Price, News9.com INsite Team

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The sport of roller derby has grown in popularity in Oklahoma in the past several years. Multiple flat track teams have formed leagues throughout the state and compete against each other during their seasons. But for one newly formed banked track league, their season is on hold until they can find a location to set up their 8,000 pound track.

There are two types of roller derby. Banked track roller derby is a track made out of masonite, wood and steel which has an incline from the inside of the track. It gradually goes up towards the outside of the track.

Flat track roller derby is just what it means; any flat surface, such as a gym floor or a parking lot, where an oval can be established. The track itself has no incline.

Emily Murray, known on the track as Suzi Uzi, is the co-founder of the new banked track roller derby league.

"I started playing flat track roller derby in 2006," Murray said. "I decided to, with a few other people, start a bank track league in 2007. It took us a little under a year to raise over $40,000 and build our bank track."

Once word got out that a group of women was building a banked roller derby track in Oklahoma, Murray's team, The Red Dirt Rebellion Roller Girls, received a call from Hollywood, California.

"The same day that we finished the track, we had to ship it to Detroit because Drew Barrymore rented our track from us to use in her upcoming movie 'Whip It'," Murray said. "That was really exciting. We're really proud that we have bragging rights that our track is in a movie."

After the movie was finished being shot, the track returned to Oklahoma City to face a new problem.

"Unfortunately, our track is in a storage unit at the moment," Murray said. "People may think that building the bank track is the hardest part, but the actual hardest part of having a bank track is finding a place to put it."

Without being able to erect the track, the Red Dirt Rebellion Roller Girls have to find other ways to practice.

"In the meantime, we're practicing at skating rinks, skating outside and skating on the river trails," Murray said. "Basically, we're doing all the same stuff that we were doing before we had the track."

An ideal place for this former movie star would be an empty warehouse.

"If we had 25,000 square feet, it would be enough to have our banked track and stadium seating with bleachers for people to watch with concession stands," Murray said. "That's our ideal place."

If you know of a location that might be suitable for a banked roller derby track, please contact the Red Dirt Rebellion Roller Girls on MySpace or www.okrollerderby.com.