It's been more than two and a half years since Cincinnatians have seen some hard-hitting roller derby action, but the wait is finally over: The Cincinnati Rollergirls (CRG) are ready to return to the rink.
After taking a pandemic-related hiatus, the CRG have announced two fall games — one at the Cintas Center at Xavier University on Sept. 10 and one at Sports Plus in Evendale on Oct. 8.
While roller derby matches are typically scheduled in the spring, the team says in a release that they wanted "to return to public play as soon as possible with two preseason games" before the sanctioned spring season in 2023.
“We’re thrilled to play our first public game since 2019 at Cintas Center,” Lauren Bishop, the team’s principal owner, says in the release. “The arena will provide our skaters, fans and sponsors with the best experience yet for roller derby in Cincinnati, and we thank the staff for working with us to make this dream a reality.”
The CRG were slated to move to the Cintas Center for their 2020 season, before COVID had other plans. The team, which was founded in 2005, has played on Xavier's campus since 2017, when it moved to the 3,000-seat Schmidt Memorial Fieldhouse after its former home, the Cincinnati Gardens, was sold (and later demolished).
The Cintas Center has 10,224 seats and the CRG say its polished concrete floor — located underneath a removable basketball court — "is the preferred surface for the hard-hitting, fast-moving sport of flat track roller derby."
Evendale's Sports Plus location is smaller, and the team says they plan on livestreaming both games for any fans who aren't able to attend.
While opponents have not yet been announced for either match, the Sept. 10 game at the Cintas Center is part of the worldwide Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s “Back on Track” series, a self-proclaimed "global celebration of roller derby" and members' "ability to come back to derby in a way that is flexible, accessible and as safe as possible."
Tickets for the Cintas Center game are on sale now and cost $15 in advance for adults and $20 at the door. Tickets for children ages 3-12 cost $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Those 2 and younger are free. There are also group discounts and discounts for college students, faculty and staff. Purchase tickets at xavier.evenue.net.
Doors open at 5 p.m. for the Sept. 10 game and play begins at 6 p.m.
The team says tickets for the Sports Plus game on Oct. 8 will go on sale soon.
The Cintas Center is located at 1624 Musketeer Drive on Xavier University's campus.
Learn more about the Cincinnati Rollergirls at cincinnatirollergirls.com.