Alas, December’s SUPER FANTASY FORCE marked the last time Inspire Pro would run an event at The Red Oak Ballroom. In January, Inspire Pro brass and Red Oak’s new management met to discuss the terms of their 2017 contract, and decided to mutually part ways. Inspire Pro’s Max Meehan commented, “we really loved our previous home at the Marchesa, but after it was acquired by Austin Film Society, who decided to make it a dedicated cinema, we were forced to look for a new venue. We didn’t want to simply scramble and ultimately settle for something we weren’t happy with, so it took us a while to find Red Oak. The previous manager was an amazing guy, and a huge fan of East coast indie wrestling. Unfortunately, he left several months after we started running events in the space, and the new management team was not a fan of pro-wrestling in general.”
“We’re looking at this as a fortuitous event rather than a set back,” Meehan continued “because while Red Oak definitely had things we loved about it, it wasn’t ideal in some ways. We could definitely fit more seats in there, and the locker room area was wonderful for the men and women on our roster. However, on the other hand, it probably wasn’t the best venue for our fans.”
Meehan went on to say that fan feedback definitely made it easier to step away from the space. He stated, “Bar service was definitely on a poor side. I just don’t think they were used to handling events like ours, and that definitely shaped how we approached our next move. At the end of the day, Red Oak was a wedding venue.”
Indeed, that fact influenced Inspire management’s preferences when selecting their next venue. Both Bissonnette and Meehan decided that if their events were essentially sporting in nature, that seeking out a venue that accommodated sporting events might be the next best move. Ultimately, that brought them to Austin Sports Center – a facility built in 2003 and the home of Austin Junior Volleyball.
A new member of the Inspire Pro management team T.J. McAloon offered, “I think this is a really exciting partnership. Austin Junior Volleyball is one of the top-tier programs in the state for Junior Olympic Volleyball that tours across the country playing tournaments, getting players into college programs. Austin Sports Center has therefore been invaluable to the Austin community since its inception, hosting tournaments in the space and working with local schools. They are also currently the home of TXRG, whom we are going to be partnering with to co-promote our events in the space.”
Meehan continued, “It’s an interesting space, and it’s a lot larger than any building we’ve ever run, but we’re looking to make unique use of the court and see what we can do. We’re also confident that the facility will be more on top of ensuring that our thirsty fans can get speedier service at the bar so they don’t miss the action.”
On March 26th, Inspire Pro will hold their first event at Austin Sports Center, located at 425 Woodward Street in Austin, Texas — conveniently just 10 minutes from downtown Austin. Tickets for ECSTASY OF GOLD 4 are ON SALE NOW at InspireProWrestling.com. There will be more information forthcoming on the phenomenal card Inspire has in store, so STAY TUNED!