Light rail extension uproots roller derby team

Light rail extension uproots roller derby team

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 9:17 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 13 at 10:07 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Construction on the light rail extension in Noda is about to gear up, meaning some buildings are coming down. And that has some people scrambling.

In the heart of Noda, just feet from the tracks, inside what looks like an abandoned building, the Charlotte Roller Girls are holding one of their last practices in the place they've called home for more than three years.

Rosemary Gardner, AKA Rosie Cheeks, says, “We practice four days a week in order to get ready for competition.”

Just a few weeks ago they found out they have to get out. “It did catch us by surprise, having to move out of our space this early.”

The old warehouse is coming down to make room for the light rail extension

Liz McLaughlin, AKA “Total Lizaster” says, “We’re in a historic district and this is a building of great value to us and our neighbors, so it’s a bummer we’re going to have to leave.”

They compete across the country, even the world. They need 10,000 square feet -- and the hand painted track -- to be ready.

“It’s really tough. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked for commercial real estate. It’s not easy, especially just with the space constraints we have.”

And they're hoping to continue to keep costs down, because that allows the group to donate several thousand dollars to charity each year.

“We operate as a not for profit, so we try to keep our expenses very low. So the lower our expenses are such as rent, the more we can give back,” Rosemary says.

The girls say the sudden move is a definite knockdown, but they won't let it become a knock out.

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