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The Score - Anthony Schoettle

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Sports Business

Roller derby bout crashes Bankers Life Fieldhouse

March 13, 2012
KEYWORDS Sports Business

Women’s roller derby in Indianapolis is movin’ on up.

The Naptown Roller Girls announced today they have scheduled a bout for April 20 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers. Normally, the locally based roller derby team plays at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

The April 20 event, presented by Indianapolis-based Compton Strategies, will feature the NRG—also known as the Tornado Sirens vs. the Tampa Bay Tantrums. The bout is being billed as ‘Derby Does Downtown - NRG Rocks the Fieldhouse!’
 
Both teams are members of the national Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.

The event is being marketed by Ray Compton, former Indianapolis Colts sales and marketing chief. Compton also has worked stints in marketing for the Pacers and the Indianapolis Ice when the Ice was a minor league professional team.

“NRG events remind me quite a bit of the old Indianapolis Ice,” Compton said. “They’re fast, exiting and just a lot of fun to attend. They've drawn great crowds at the Pepsi Coliseum and this is an opportunity to really expand their fan base. To play at Bankers Life Fieldhouse is a reflection of their growth and commitment to the sport.”

The Naptown Roller Girls were founded in 2005, have been featured in several local publications and have a growing following. The team’s bouts in recent years have drawn several sell-outs when it played at the 4,500-seat Toyota Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairground. Due to growing ticket demand, the local roller derby team has moved its bouts to the Fairground’s Pepsi Coliseum.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the Naptown Roller Girls to show Indianapolis what an amazing sport we have,” said Megan Bennett, former NRG skater and board president. “We’ve steadily moved up in the rankings and our fan base has grown as well so we have been looking to branch out and take on a bigger venue. Bankers Life Fieldhouse gives us that opportunity. Our current fans are in for a treat and we’re excited to add to their numbers after this bout.”

On Apirl 20, the Naptown Roller Girls’ feeder teams will play an inter-league bout at 6:30 p.m. The main event begins at 8 p.m.
 
Tickets for the event will go on sale Thursday and will be available at the Fieldhouse box office and through Ticketmaster outlets.
 
General admission tickets are $14 in advance and $18 at the door. There will also be a limited number of floor level seats available for $20. Discounted tickets for students, youth and military also will be available.

The sport of roller derby, which features roller skaters speeding around a short oval-shaped track, first became popular in the 1970s, but has recently made a comeback in cities nationwide. The bouts are known for physical play, bumping and numerous crashes.

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