Pump It Up specializes in indoor, inflatable arenas for children. During fun-filled pop-in visits, children can leap around gargantuan air-filled bounce houses, slip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an air-filled obstacle course. Pump It Up’s giant indoor air arenas are climate-controlled and maintained according to rigorous guidelines enforced by a well-trained staff and local police. Parents bounce for free during pop-in, so childless adults who want to play will need to borrow a neighbor’s kid or win one by collecting soda tops.
From expert installation and anchoring to insurance coverage and rule enforcement, Pump It Up holds itself to strict safety standards. Since jumping is an exciting method for burning calories, a lively lark through Pump It Up’s inflatable fun houses will cause youthful energy to melt off faster than ice cubes thrown into a running DVD player.
Since joining the Frontier League in 1996, the Otters have shattered several of the league's records while sending dozens of signees to the MLB. In 2005, the club became the first in the league to record a million total fans in attendance—a vote of confidence that led the Otters, in the the subsequent season, to repay Evansville with its first Frontier League championship. The team passed another milestone in 2012, becoming the first FL team to rack up 700 wins, still a far cry from matching some local 7-year-olds' kickball record of infinity wins. Opened in 1915, the Otters' home turf, Bosse Field, enjoys its own legacy of storied moments, most notably its use during the filming of A League of Their Own.
It didn't take long for the first professional hockey team in Evansville to make their mark; in just their second year in the All American Hockey League, in 2010, the fledgling IceMen won the Davidson Cup in seven games. Though that first clan of IceMen has since gone extinct, the team soon resurrected as part of the ECHL, where they serve as the minor-league affiliate of both the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Saint Louis Blues. During games, fans fill the 9,400-seat Ford Center arena as the polar-bear mascot, Blizzard, entertains crowds and teaches children of the dangers of costume warming.
Members of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, the Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls celebrate the independent spirit of women by hunting as a pack. During high-energy bouts, the team circles around a short track, pushing and shoving as the jammer attempts to score points by skating past the throng. Founded in 2006, the Rollergirls spent one and a half years recruiting and training before completing their first full season, today siccing two competitive teams on other leagues throughout the Midwest’s flat hardwood plains. Though the Rollergirls offer no mercy in the rink, they dedicate their time outside it to helping others within the community. The squad regularly volunteers for activities and events throughout northern Kentucky and help raise funds for local charities. To raise awareness for the sport, the team was also the focus of a 2009 documentary titled Black-n-Bluegrass, which chronicled the players’ regular lives and addressed misconceptions surrounding their beloved pastime.
Crossing the Ohio River on the north side of Louisville, it’s impossible not to notice the glassy façade of the KFC Yum! Center right on the river, a gleaming, $238 million cathedral to the University of Louisville’s flagship sport: basketball. Perennial powerhouses in both the men’s and women’s competition, Louisville showcases its fast-paced brand of basketball to one of the most loyal fanbases and student bodies in the country. While hoops may be king—the men’s basketball squad has won the school its two only NCAA Championships—the Cardinals take pride in a host of distinguished sports, including a football team that won both the Big East Conference and the Orange Bowl in 2006, leading the basketball team to briefly experiment with wearing helmets and cleats.
Baseball in Louisville dates back to 1876 when the Louisville Grays began playing as part of the National League. Soon after the turn of the 20th century, minor league baseball arrived in Derby City and for 70 years, the Louisville Colonels commanded it. Their departure in 1972, however, led to a period of inactivity, as well as a period of unemployed umpires roaming the city shouting "SAFE!" at landing birds. Ten years later, baseball returned with the arrival of the Louisville Redbirds, who eventually became the RiverBats in 1998, and simply the Bats in 2002. Over the years this franchise has spent time as the affiliate of three big league teams: the St. Louis Cardinals, the Milwaukee Brewers, and its current affiliate, the Cincinnati Reds.