I’m here in Dallas, for the Roller Derby World Cup, and what do I hear but that we made new news back in the other twin cities. One of my favorite things about watching this are the teams that have been together for a short time, with no hope of winning, but are nonetheless taking on teams with skaters that have been doing this for 10 years or more. The even matches are great, but the best thing, in my opinion, are the blowouts. Because when you come off the track, and down to the escalator, lost, beaten, humiliated, humbled, you learn way more about the game, and how to play it better next time.
So I’m picking a fight I have little hope of winning, at least for now, and here’s the battle cry
Sell the Derby world cup to the fans
But let’s not just stop at the organization that puts on the world cup and negotiates contracts with a venue. If there is anything in need of crowdfunding these days, it’s a venue owned and operated by people who love derby. Nothing pisses me off more than some rich asshole in New York asking for MY fair twin cities tax money to finance a stadium so he can buy another million dollar apartment.
So far I think Blood and Thunder has done a great job busting their ass to get this event to where it is today. But what’s going to happen in 5 or 10 years? It’s probably going to get bigger, more expensive, and more complicated. This is not something that one company, or one team, or the various derby governing bodies can handle themselves without some outside cash influx.
I think Derby is going to be big business at some point, and I’d much rather have the skaters and fans be the ones to make the investment and get a return on it, rather than a bunch of assholes who get paid twice as much because they are rich, white, and male. The sportsploitation business is going to figure out either that Derby is an opportunity for them, or a threat to their captured cash cow, and they are going try to buy their way into owning it.
Are we gonna sit by and let the dirty money jam up the great thing we’ve got here, or are we gonna block that shit with an impenetrable wall of shared ownership? Let’s leave this roller derby world cup with a plan and a vision to build a venue for the next one.
My vote is we start by municipalizing the Minnesota Vikings stadium. I’m sure you derby fans have some other good ideas. Let’s hear it.