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Seattle Parks Department expanding access to roller derby at community centers

The Seattle Parks Department says it's outfitting community centers with roller derby lines to give local leagues access after their Shoreline facility closed.

Editor's note: The above video previously aired on KING 5 in 2019 when the Shoreline derby facility was closing.

The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department says it's working to expand access to roller derby after the location that housed two derby leagues closed earlier this year. 

The Shoreline facility known as 'The Rats Nest' that housed the Rat City Roller Derby and the Seattle Derby Brats closed earlier this year to be demolished to make way for new apartments.

The closure left the two derby teams without a home and their future uncertain. 

But on Wednesday, Seattle Parks and Recreation said in response to community input, they're answering the call to bring more derby access to Seattle. 

The Garfield Community Center has been outfitted with roller derby lines, Seattle Parks officials said. They also plan to add roller derby lines at up to 17 other community centers across the Seattle area over the next two years. 

RELATED: Roller derby season ends for Shoreline team still looking for new home

There are more than 250 skaters in multiple leagues that used the Shoreline facility for roller derby practices and bouts before it shut down. 

Prior to its closure, Seattle Derby Brats President Mike Van Flandern said they'd been searching for a new location for three years, but it was difficult to find the right place. 

One challenge was that they needed a building with a “clear span” meaning there are no poles in key locations that skaters could slam into. 

The teams even looked into parking lots and vacant land to see if they could build something that would meet their needs, but with no luck. 

But it appears the future of derby in Seattle is brighter now, just in time for the 2019-2020 derby season. 

RELATED: Development forces Seattle roller derby teams to search for new home