PHOTO GALLERY: MIA Rolls Grunge City at the Bettie Bunker
Behind the strong jamming of Jacky O Nastiest and Slamber Ella, the MIA Derby Girls made easy work of the Grunge City Rollers, 203-111, at the Bettie Bunker in Lacey on Saturday night.
It was Oly Sports first derby at the Bettie Bunker, the warehouse on Lacey Boulevard that the MIA Derby Girls and the JBLM Bettie Brigade share, and it has quickly and easily eclipsed Skateland! as the best place to watch derby in the Olympia area. It’s bright, open, has decent sound, a beer garden, concessions and has been nicely decorated with a big graffiti mural on one side and a red, white and blue derby mural on the other side.
The floor is a hard concrete warehouse floor and is very unforgiving on the skaters. Some of the tumbles that they took, especially in the fresh meat game that preceded the main event (MIA won 99-72), were particularly nasty and painful looking and made me uncomfortable watching their pain.
Bathroom facilities are a problem that will have to be worked out if the Bettie Bunker will continue to host events. Currently, the public restrooms are two honey buckets in the parking lot.
Also, parking is a bit of a problem. There is a small lot in the front of the building, one in the back of the building and there is a lot across Pacific Avenue at Pope John Paul II High School that was designated for derby parking. Unfortunately, you have to cross a field, the bike path and five lanes of Pacific to get to the lot and at night, it was unnerving, at best. The empty lot in front of the Bettie Bunker was blocked and closed to parking or else most people could have parked there.
No matter the problems, the Bettie Bunker is a good place to watch derby and it is obvious that MIA and JBLM are actively trying to make improvements to the facility for their skaters and fans. While the quality of roller derby played by the Oly Rollers at Skateland! is still far superior, their facility is not.