(KMTR) -- Face plants, elbows, and high speed action in Springfield
over the weekend as the first “Big O” Roller Derby Tournament rolled in, pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy.
Between 1000 and 1500 skates took part in the “Big O” Tournament this weekend, starting on Friday, February 10th, 2012 at the Willamalane Centers for Sports and Recreation in Springfield.
The tournament is the large roller derby tourney in Oregon history. Teams from all across the Northwest took part, some traveling from California, Idaho, Utah, even Vancouver B.C.
The sport is unique, with skaters pushing and shoving past each other on an oval course, each jockeying around other players to score points.
The sport is growing in popularity as well, with women’s, men’s and youth teams in the Eugene-Springfield area.
“It's awesome, a way different experience than regular ‘bouting, more intensity,” says Anthony Warner, a roller derby player with the Lane County Concussion.
“Right now, we're pretty strong, we've got 12 guys and just recently acquired three new guys, so we're constantly growing and we're always looking for more guys,” says Warner.
While the tournament only lasted three days, Travel Lane County estimates a much larger lasting impact in dollar figures. The tournament has brought an estimated 600,000 dollars into the local economy.