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Forsaken85
03-07-2004, 02:36 PM
Hey i got a question. Did everyone else have food problems at the regionals. Our food that we could buy was over priced as well as terrible. In my chicken there was a piece of cartiledge. Also the french fries were over salted. All F.I.R.S.T cares about is giving the better food to the vips and voulenteers. I was outraged when we could not bring in descent food from the outside. They even took our water away. And then told us to buy water costing 2.00 dollars or more. So did anyone else have these similar problems to?

Ryan Albright
03-07-2004, 02:41 PM
Well if you look most of the food provided at the venue is from the people supplying the staduim. Then the food for vips is provided by FIRST. Its like any sporting event you go to you are not aloud to bring food in,. I wish they would change the rule about water though, because that is something you need and they shouldnt charge you for bringing in the water

Trinora
03-07-2004, 02:43 PM
237 anticipated food problems and did a good deal of smuggling, but there was some complaining. FIRST has a hard enoguh time keeping places to hold compitions, so it is understandable why they would not complain if we violated Arena standards. FIRST -should- ake care of their voulnteers first, and with good reason... And you could have always left the Arena and tried to find a place to eat, as arduous as the task would be.

However, by Saturday, I was talking, fighting, eating, drinking, sleeping, DREAMING robotics, and found I had little enough appitite as it was.

Rich Wong
03-07-2004, 02:46 PM
Hey i got a question. Did everyone else have food problems at the regionals. Our food that we could buy was over priced as well as terrible. In my chicken there was a piece of cartiledge. Also the french fries were over salted. All F.I.R.S.T cares about is giving the better food to the vips and voulenteers. I was outraged when we could not bring in descent food from the outside. They even took our water away. And then told us to buy water costing 2.00 dollars or more. So did anyone else have these similar problems to?

NJ Regional arena food prices were crazy!
These are high school students, who eat and drink constantly, several people complained to me when I was chatting to them about lunch. When I looked at the prices I was shocked. Luckily they found a pizza shop down the road.
Someone please give these kids a break.
(and I hate the hockey ring walls too)
:mad:

sygterm
03-07-2004, 03:03 PM
Its like any sporting event you go to you are not aloud to bring food in True, however I've never heard of a sporting event which went as far as to take away the food if they saw you eating it, usually they just frown upon you bringing food in from outside. For the $5000 entry fee, I think they could afford to let you bring in your own food.

Someone please give these kids a break. Agree'd

nukemknight
03-07-2004, 03:10 PM
At VCU there were two places to eat. Both were overpriced but one was worse than the other. I don't know how they managed to get us to pay $3 for a hot-dog but we did. But there was also a sandwich place at VCU. They had sandwich wraps and fried chicken. Their prices weren't so bad but both had fountain drinks for $3. <--Crazy prices.

Rich Kressly
03-07-2004, 03:15 PM
I see this as a very unfortunate downside to securing these large stadium venues for regionals. Most stadium venues have direct contracts with food service companies that cannot be violated during any event booked within. The problem with a FIRST event is that it's three days long, eight plus hours per day and many participants are busy enough with team jobs/duties that leaving for food is not an option. It really would be nice if a more student/team friendly arrangement could be made at the SBA in NJ for 2005.

Adam Y.
03-07-2004, 03:15 PM
Isn't there a law in some states that specifically says you cannot deny anyone water if they ask.

Koko Ed
03-07-2004, 03:17 PM
Eh,
Go to any professonal sporting event and you have to pay for the same crappy overpriced food. It's called a captive audiance. If we were given the choice of paying for the food and having a great place to hold a competition or getting kicked out and having it in a high school or college gym ,but we can have any food you want (no food allowed in the Wilson Magnet gym), I'll pay for the food. Call it a necessary evil.

Jones571
03-07-2004, 03:22 PM
3.00 for a bottle of water in NJ what is up with that? So to keep lunch prices down we bought lots of cold cuts and ate lunch on our bus. it wouldn't be so bad if they charged so much for food that actually tasted good.

Steve W
03-07-2004, 03:32 PM
Let me explain a few things to those that think FIRST is responsible for the food costs. The arenas have contracts with food vendors. These contracts are for ALL events held at the arena. First has NO imput into cost or quality of the food. The arena gets paid by the food providers for the right to sell food in that location. The best bidder wins. That usually means the provider that gives the most back to the arena. Prices are then set so that the provider makes money. You then go to the arena and pay what they ask ( like the $3.00 for a soft ice cream cone I bought) or don't. If no one bought then they would have to do something about it.
Some arenas will allow you to bring in your own food at a cost. i know for a fact that the numbers that I heard were nuts.

Secondly, the food provided for volunteers and invited guests are provided by the same catering company that provides the venue food. FIRST does not bring in their own food. Being a volunteer at many different venues, I can safely say that some food IS better than you buy in the stands BUT some is no better and sometimes ...

To finish off, PLEASE do not try and smuggle food etc into venues. When people are caught it sets a very bad example of FIRST. When I have asked people if they have food and they give me their word that they don't, I would like to believe them. It only takes a few to distroy trust for all. Also when it was said that they look the other way when you are caught, this is wrong. The organizers of the event (Volunteers) hear all about it and see the distrust building with the venues. This can cause the venues to consider raising rates for following years which means you pay more. It's all a cycle so lets try and stop the bad by following the restrictions set out by FIRST.

OneAngryDaisy
03-07-2004, 03:34 PM
My friends and I always walk to the nearest restaraunt to buy food.. I do know that at Philadelphia the food is provided not by the venue, so the prices are unbelievably low in comparison to other FIRST events..

Rich Wong
03-07-2004, 03:43 PM
The NYC Regional's venue is at the NY Riverbank State Park.
The State Park do not have as much food vendor restrictions like the large sport arenas.
Outside food is tolerated in the park. There is no giant parking lot but a real park right outside the arena doors.
So last year a lot of the teams were relaxing and eating outside the pit.

Heretic121
03-07-2004, 04:07 PM
well at BAE the prices were somewhat overpriced compared to other sporting venues in RI and MA that i have been to (like the Duknin Dounuts Center and Fenway Park) but what made it worse was IT WAS A 20 MINUTE WALK BOTH WAYS to the CLOSEST fast food place (mcdonalds at that) luckily there was a quicky mart deal w/ some sandwiches and a pizza/wraps place and a chinesse place... i just couldnt stand venue food for 3 days straight!!!! (even the chicken for dinner during the social wasnt that impressive but it was free =/)

jacob_dilles
03-07-2004, 04:14 PM
Their prices weren't so bad but both had fountain drinks for $3.
yes i was also at VCU and the $3 fountian drink is rediculus!!! they even put ice in it to give you LESS soda, if that was even possable. after my 3rd $3 coke i started asking them not to put ice in it.
Its like any sporting event you go to you are not aloud to bring food in,.
i dont think this is like any sporting event, because were actualy working. this is more like a marathon. maybe they should seperate it out, so that the audence cant bring food but the people in the pits can. a "pit pass" may be in order. i dont know about the rest of you, but i was sweating up a bunch and working very hard on our robot, and i think that it is crimnal to charge $3 for a soda!!! i meen geez guys i would pay a buck for a gatorade, but this is just crazy

Team303Mom
03-07-2004, 04:36 PM
The NJ Regional food was as bad as the food in the Astrodome in Houston last year. When you attend an event at such arenas, you are usually there for one event. We spent three entire days at this event. First there was not any breakfast type foods or coffee and most of us got up very early. Charging $3.00 per bottle for water should be considered a crime especially when Disney provided us with water coolers; water is a basic necessity in life not an afforded luxury. The food selections were very unhealthy and at times not edible. Prior to the competition, I called the food concession folks to inquire about non-meat meals for some of our students. I was told that they had pizza, nachos, pretzels and PB & J sandwiches. If this was not acceptable, they could bring their lunch with them. I inquired about salads and other healthier sandwiches and the response was they do not get much of a calling for that type of food. Of course not for a 2-3 hour sporting event, but for 3 full days, all of our arteries are clogged now. FIRST should consider the welfare of the students when arranging the venues. If they are willing to provide food for the VIP folks then they should arrange for the rest of us to have a decent lunch. One last note - 2 of our students called out for pizza delivery on the advice/help from the security guards and then were chastized for it! :(

AMS
03-07-2004, 04:37 PM
For those arguing that every major sports audience has to pay for the food too, but do the players themselves have to pay for it, do the coaches and the ball boys have to buy water from the concession stands, i didnt thnk so. Instead they all cater their food from outside places of thier choice...

So that argument is weak, and if anyone is arguing that no one can be denied bringing drinking water, well they will point to a water fountain...

Yes we always lose, but thats life

Paradox1350
03-07-2004, 04:49 PM
The prices were ridiculus, but I didn't really eat anything for 3 days. I fed off of Robot. I only ate on the third day, when we were only watching the finals. But down in the pits there was free water for us (at BAE at least) so that was exceptionally nice.

Adam Y.
03-07-2004, 04:52 PM
So that argument is weak, and if anyone is arguing that no one can be denied bringing drinking water, well they will point to a water fountain...
Actually by law in some states they do have to give you a cup of water if you ask for it. I forget which ones though. Then again why not bring an empty water bottle and fill it up with water.

Bluesky55J
03-07-2004, 06:42 PM
Atleast at rutgers there was a resturant type place right next door. with actual food. it was like $6.00 for a burger at this place. thats stupid.

RoboMom
03-07-2004, 07:02 PM
Forget food, we always need water! I wish we could just bring a cooler of water bottles. It's always amazing hot, everyone always gets dehydrated, thereby leading to all the headaches. In venues where we've brought the cooler we've gone through at least a case of water per day. I spent a lot of time going up and down those stairs at SBA, to fill my lone bottle at the one fountain.

Alex Salomonsky
03-07-2004, 07:49 PM
At VCU, I was dead thristy the first day, but i wasn't going to pay $3.00 for a mountain dew, so the next two days i shoved some bottled water down my pants and they didn't check (understandably), so i had some bottles of water. It was funny when i pulled them out, and people were like i can't believe you did that.

Stefan
03-07-2004, 07:56 PM
Lucklly right across the street for VCU was Ukropps which had food for uber cheapness. So people on our team got food for there instead. Well at least the people who could eat anyways. Yeh prics were crazy. Way more than what I expected.

sciencegeek3
03-07-2004, 07:57 PM
At portland we were allowed to each bring in 1 water bottle... we could not just carry in a case of water for the team, each member had to carry their own. So that was at least a good thing.

Kaelia
03-07-2004, 08:44 PM
At VCU on Saturday, teams were allowed to bring in water due to the Nova outbreak...

Tuba4
03-07-2004, 09:54 PM
Just a quick question for those who attended regionals this past weekend. Did the overpriced bottled water have the FIRST logo on it? At one of the competitions I attended last year (Buckeye, Pittsburgh, Nationals) I remember that the bottled water had the FIRST logo on the label.

Sscamatt
03-07-2004, 10:07 PM
Lots of teams that came from out of state on a coach bus ordered food out Friday and Saturday and had it delivered to the bus in the parking lot. Saved lots of money that way. :)

Mongoose
03-07-2004, 10:45 PM
I skipped lunch on Friday and Saturday at the PNW regional. On Thursday they said that if they found a team member eating or drinking outside food or drinks, his or her team would be kicked out for the rest of the day; I ate a "premium Fletcher hot dog" which cost $4.00 which was a bun and a 5 inch sausage. I got water out of the drinking fountains, but they didn't provide much water. I remember previously (back when it was at UW) they didn't mention anything about outside food or drink and I don't think they even looked at us when we ate sandwiches in the stands.

RoboMom
03-08-2004, 05:31 AM
Lots of teams that came from out of state on a coach bus ordered food out Friday and Saturday and had it delivered to the bus in the parking lot. Saved lots of money that way. :)

They were also making announcements saying that the parking lot was considered part of the Arena and saying that this was not allowed. But it was happening anyway.

Carol
03-08-2004, 09:58 AM
They were also making announcements saying that the parking lot was considered part of the Arena and saying that this was not allowed. But it was happening anyway.


At NJ, we had pizza delivered to the parking lot on Thursday, which was eaten in the parking lot. Then there was an announcement that the parking lot is arena property and food is not allowed to be delivered there! Very petty on their part. On Friday and Sat. we sent someone out to get pizza which we then ate from the back of the car. No one objected to that, although we were discrete about it - as discrete as you can be wearing such bright-colored shirts. (And we lucked out that the rain stopped right when the pizzas arrived). The rules said you could have food in your car so it wasn't a direct violation.

I understand that food concessions are a big money maker for the arena and they are entitled to charge out what they wish, outrageous as it is. I also agree if you are there for a 2 hours event eating nachos or fried chicken is fine, but you can't keep that up for three days. And there really wasn't anywhere within walking distance to get food. Next year teams should be prepared for the food problem if the rules don't change.

As for the water, I saw many people bring in empty bottles that they then filled from the drinking fountains. The arena officials didn't seem to object to that.

N7UJJ
03-08-2004, 10:22 AM
When a team is at a competition, we are not just spectators, but participants. If it wasn't for the teams and their robots, there would be no event. We are not there for entertainment, but because we made a commitment. (Could you see an NBA player bolting from the bench to the snack bar for a drink of water?) We are also there for 6-10 hours each day. Unlike spectators, we can't leave for a few hours for lunch. Many members of the team do not have their own transportation. We're trapped.

I can understand the business considerations that a venue has to make. I also think most of the food sold at such venues is pure junk. Kind of hard to buy fruit or low-fat or anything healthy. Anyone with dietary restrictions would have an especially hard time.

Just as Intel, Microchip and the thousands of companies have supported us in FIRST, wouldn't it be wonderful if we were allowed to eat in their parking lot? Why can't we bring in our own water? Gracious Professionalism could be demonstrated by the venue/food providers.

I sympathize with the moral dilemma of smuggling in water to a venue, but I think I empathies with the smugglers. It may not be right, but

nuggetsyl
03-08-2004, 10:34 AM
Hey guys here is an idea. Someone throw a big tail gate party in the parking lot. I would pay for that. In fact there were threads about this a few months ago so how did you not see this coming.

shaun

mixmasta321
03-08-2004, 10:48 AM
Hey all,
Yes, I too disagree with the food policies. But last year our team held a tailgate party out in the parking lot of the motorola regional for our team and another local WI team and it was great! We are planning on doing it again. Its a really good idea for all you firsters out there. I wouldn't know if we would have enough to feed a whole lot of people but it was fine for just a couple of teams. Anyways good luck everybody and we'll see you at St. Louis and Chicago!

MikeDubreuil
03-08-2004, 10:53 AM
I went to the BAE regional in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Water sold for $3.00 a bottle by the vendors. Occasionally the pit anouncer would tell everyone that you could get a free bottle of water from him. I only remember this happening once. The second time he announced water avalliable, he actually meant water was avaliable for volunteers.

Here's my real complaint...
IF WE CAN'T BRING FOOD OR DRINK IN, THEN SELL IT TO US!!!!!

The vendors stopped selling food and drink at about 3:30. Just lovely when you're at the event until 8pm. So a thousand people are expected to use a half dozen water fountains? And starve for almost 5 hours.

The event organizers could at least go to the bargaining table with the Verizon Wireless Arena people about the hours of food service.

Swan217
03-08-2004, 11:00 AM
FYI all -

Great Lakes Tailgate - http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24479
MidWest Regional Tailgate - http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24464
Tailgate Initial Thread - http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24290 :]

Stina236
03-08-2004, 11:02 AM
There's nothing like paying seven dollars and fifty cents for a couple strips of chicken and some salty fries all in a basket at a FIRST competition!!! Ahhhhh... memories!

WebWader125
03-08-2004, 11:19 AM
We always send one of the parents to get pizza at lunch, and then go outside to eat it. At Manchester we had our tailgate party in the Fleet Bank drive-through the second day ('cause it was raining). We also had to smuggle in water to keep us going between meals.

Amanda Morrison
03-08-2004, 11:22 AM
I know it's been said before, but I'll say it again: FIRST isn't always directly responsible for this stuff. Who's to say that they haven't gone to the bargaining table to get you cheaper prices on food? Or that they want you to get a coronary from all the cholesterol?

I don't like to be a cynic, but when it comes down to it... there are always bargains made, and by putting our team's $5,000 in every year, I am putting in my faith that FIRST is doing their best at everything they can do. Do I like eating some of that stuff? No, not particularly. And yes, I do understand that a lot of times there aren't a whole lot of options around these rules. But the best we can do is put in our constructive comments, maybe suggest some ideas to FIRST, and learn how we can either work around or improve this rule.

Does anyone have any ideas (that haven't already been posted) that FIRST may be able to try to help out this situation?

Joe3
03-08-2004, 11:35 AM
At the NJ regional on Thursday, we sent someone out to go get a bunch of pizzas and then we went out to go eat in the parking lot, like a tailgate. However, later that day there was an announcement that the parking lot was also part of the arena, and bringing food and eating it out there was against the food policy, and that it would be disallowed from that point on. They didnt have much luck enforcing that ruling, but they still made that decision. I think that that was going a little too far. Not everyone wants, or can afford $6 for 3 chicken fingers and a portion of cold, soggy, overly-salted fries. What a bargain.

Did anyone have a similar experiance at any other regionals?

robolemur1236
03-08-2004, 12:23 PM
At VCU there were two places to eat. Both were overpriced but one was worse than the other. I don't know how they managed to get us to pay $3 for a hot-dog but we did. But there was also a sandwich place at VCU. They had sandwich wraps and fried chicken. Their prices weren't so bad but both had fountain drinks for $3. <--Crazy prices.

yeah, but there was a Subway across the street and a deli the other way. we brought many snacks and just had a tailgate party fri. and sat. because we refused to spend $3 for a hot dog.

galewind
03-08-2004, 12:30 PM
To finish off, PLEASE do not try and smuggle food etc into venues. When people are caught it sets a very bad example of FIRST. When I have asked people if they have food and they give me their word that they don't, I would like to believe them. It only takes a few to distroy trust for all. Also when it was said that they look the other way when you are caught, this is wrong. The organizers of the event (Volunteers) hear all about it and see the distrust building with the venues. This can cause the venues to consider raising rates for following years which means you pay more. It's all a cycle so lets try and stop the bad by following the restrictions set out by FIRST.

Please understand this:

I cannot survive off chicken fingers and french fries for three days. Everything the arena sold was fried. This is unhealthy for me, and so I had no choice but to bring food in -- or not to eat. I paid $3 for a 16oz bottle of water with a smile on my face, but I CANNOT eat nothing but fried foods for three days. So yes, I smuggled in apples and carrots for myself, and when my students saw even the carrots, they were hankering for something not fried, and I gladly shared.

I'd pay $2.00 for an apple, $3.00 for a tossed salad, etc, but they NEED to offer foods that are not fried. Stadiums cater, in general, to one to three hour events, not full day events like this, and their food selection generally reflects that. In this case everything was extremely unhealthy.

Thankfully, Annapolis has already posted their offerings, and I'm VERY pleased to see that they offer salads there!

DirtyBird213
03-08-2004, 02:04 PM
At BAE they did give out free water in the pits, but it went very fast. We do allow our students to leave and get lunch, but most of our kids stay and eat there. We prepare our students and their parents for high prices.I do realize it is high prices to pay, but FIRST has no control over this. For the prices we are paying I just wish it would taste good! The cheesburgers at Verizon were horrible, and they had NO VEGITARIAN meals!!! They did offer a vegitarian dish at the team party which was nice but our vegitarians need to eat the rest of the days too!

Rich Wong
03-08-2004, 03:37 PM
At NJ, we had pizza delivered to the parking lot on Thursday, which was eaten in the parking lot. Then there was an announcement that the parking lot is arena property and food is not allowed to be delivered there! Very petty on their part. On Friday and Sat. we sent someone out to get pizza which we then ate from the back of the car. No one objected to that, although we were discrete about it - as discrete as you can be wearing such bright-colored shirts. (And we lucked out that the rain stopped right when the pizzas arrived). The rules said you could have food in your car so it wasn't a direct violation.


I have this horrible image of you guys arrested and handcuffed in your bright shirts and pizza hanging out of your mouth!
Then dragged into the arena pits and paraded around to made an example of what happens to people who brake these "serious" rules. Oh... the nightmare.
(don't worry, they are not really police)
:ahh: ;)

Adam Y.
03-08-2004, 03:40 PM
This is unhealthy for me, and so I had no choice but to bring food in -- or not to eat. I paid $3 for a 16oz bottle of water with a smile on my face, but I CANNOT eat nothing but fried foods for three days. So yes, I smuggled in apples and carrots for myself, and when my students saw even the carrots, they were hankering for something not fried, and I gladly shared.
Technically you should have gotten a medical leave then. Thats probably what is going to happen with me and water. I have such horrible allergies that I can go through almost two liters of water in a matter of a few hours.

Natchez
03-08-2004, 04:18 PM
At the Lone Star Regional, the quality of food for the students is a VERY high priority. We have spent more than 40 hours on this and are still negotiating with the food supply vendor, ARAMARK, about exactly what to have in the lunch boxes. Only time will tell how things turn out but we are really trying to offer a healthy and reasonably priced meal.

As for Reliant Stadium, they do not allow food inside the building BUT they have no problem with tailgating in the parking lot. The only restriction is that teams can not use an open flame. This gives the Lone Star teams a great option for low-cost quality food. Although this option was available at the Championships, it was not well advertised.

As we expand into Reliant Stadium, please keep these small intangibles in mind when making your Regional selection in the future.

Take care,
Lucien

P.S. Did they take all of the water fountains out of the venues?

adventrx327
03-08-2004, 04:19 PM
I think i cheated at the portland regional but i found cheap sodas :) If you dont remember, there was a vending machine by the side entrance to the pits near the dressing rooms. You know... by the autonomous testing grounds. I paid .50 for a 12 oz can of coke! The way it should be!!!!!

Technically, I did buy this in the arena, and thus was in no violations of any rules :)

FYI i spent about 7 bucks on soda between thursday and sat :)

KTBSPASonya858
03-08-2004, 04:36 PM
I heard about water costing $3 a bottle that's crazy, we only get much money a day to eat at the venue how are we suppoesed to buy a slice of pizza for 4 bucks and buy a drink for there when you only get like 7 bucks a day.

dan 322
03-08-2004, 05:15 PM
I heard about water costing $3 a bottle that's crazy, we only get much money a day to eat at the venue how are we suppoesed to buy a slice of pizza for 4 bucks and buy a drink for there when you only get like 7 bucks a day.

I agree with everyone. The food is to high for students. I'm an engineer for GM and the food is too high for me, let alone a college & high school students. I'm not sure anything can ever be done about it. The food last year at the championship was the worst food I have ever had.......anywhere. At least at Disney the food was expensive but Good. Now we have the worst of both evils. :(

Forsaken85
03-08-2004, 05:28 PM
I would pay a heavy price for food, if it tasted descently good. but most of the food i ate was just over cooked, or cold, or not enough syrup in my soda. It was just really bad food and not worth paying what we did. Next time i suggest we smuggle alot of food and then they might get the hint. :cool:

Alavinus
03-08-2004, 05:47 PM
The price of food is one of the sacrifices you make when you go to a regional. All of these wonderful places that host us need to make money- it is how they stay open. Even with other non-profit groups, they still charge what they charge for food. FIRST is no different. If you want food on site, you will have to pay those prices.

On the other hand, smuggling in food is not the answer. If you honestly think food prices are too high, you have 2 options. The first is to construct a large arena, staff it with at least 100 people and deal with the mess of 3,000 people and charge more reasonable prices for food.

Your second option is rather simple: DON"T BUY THEIR FOOD! Rather then complain about food prices, just don't eat there. These businesses will get the point much more quickly then smuggling in food, anyway. If they observe their profits drop, they will cut prices. Most of the regionals are very close to or right in cities. Most of these have restaurants within walking distance that offer good food for a reasonable price. If you don't want to walk, then you will have to pay for the convenience of having food on site.

Those are your only two effective options. Smuggling in food is against the rules, just like putting an extra motor on your robot. Sure, you may get away with it, but how will you feel afterwards? Instead be glad that FIRST has been able to secure these wonderful venues. Think of how big the program would be if it was still regulated to high school gyms...

LSevcik
03-08-2004, 08:38 PM
Ah, the ultimate debate every year about food prices. As regional director for the Lone Star event in Texas, I can tell you everyone in the FIRST community is aware of the food situation. All of the venues have concession/catering contracts that have been negotiated. It doesn't matter if it is a college venue or sports facility. It is the same all across the nation. I agree with all of you that the food, drinks, snacks etc are overpriced for what one is used to paying at a high school venue. There are options. At the Lone Star, teams can bring their own food and tailgate in the parking lot or green space at the arena, the Houston committee has a list that is distributed to teams that has 60 eating places in the area or one can purchase the stadium. There are water fountains that can be used in lieu of bottled water. Our committee is trying to work with the catering company to get a nutrious meal for the teams. We'll see if we are successful or not.

In regard to VIPs and volunteers getting better food etc., we still are ordering food from the same catering company. We pay higher prices than you guys do. FIRST staff, volunteers etc. are not allowed to bring in their own food. We purchase it like everyone else. As stated so eloquently in the previous posts, smuggling in food is not the answer. It reflects badly on all of us when teams do this.

MOEmaniac
03-08-2004, 08:48 PM
the food was outragiously over priced at the NJ regional

ngreen
03-08-2004, 08:50 PM
I think i cheated at the portland regional but i found cheap sodas :) If you dont remember, there was a vending machine by the side entrance to the pits near the dressing rooms. You know... by the autonomous testing grounds. I paid .50 for a 12 oz can of coke! The way it should be!!!!!

Technically, I did buy this in the arena, and thus was in no violations of any rules :)

FYI i spent about 7 bucks on soda between thursday and sat :)

I did the same thing last year at Championships. They had vending machine when you went into the reliant stadium on the way to the fields. I guess they were exclusive though. You had to have your bright colored drivers button to make it that far. Those machine where cleaned out by Saturday.

Koko Ed
03-08-2004, 09:24 PM
I know it's been said before, but I'll say it again: FIRST isn't always directly responsible for this stuff. Who's to say that they haven't gone to the bargaining table to get you cheaper prices on food? Or that they want you to get a coronary from all the cholesterol?

I don't like to be a cynic, but when it comes down to it... there are always bargains made, and by putting our team's $5,000 in every year, I am putting in my faith that FIRST is doing their best at everything they can do. Do I like eating some of that stuff? No, not particularly. And yes, I do understand that a lot of times there aren't a whole lot of options around these rules. But the best we can do is put in our constructive comments, maybe suggest some ideas to FIRST, and learn how we can either work around or improve this rule.

Does anyone have any ideas (that haven't already been posted) that FIRST may be able to try to help out this situation?
As I've always said: The easiest thing in the world to do is to simply point your finger and judge. Which most of the people in this thread are doing. If FIRST gets driven out of the venues are all of you going to be happy then? Let's try taking Amanda's suggestion and try comming up with viable soloutions that can solve the problem instead of just simp;y whine about them. Let's do that voodoo that we do so well.
Here is my suggestion: Teams get together and make a community pool to assist with cost be that via a fundraiser or donation and teams are given an allowance to be used towards the purchase of food. Sure you have to buy the same nasty food but we cannot do anything about that. Perhaps a direct appeal to the vendor to provide apprpriate choices for those who cannot eat fried food or are on a diet could be made. At least just this once.
I would not want to lose the use of these venues because people want to be defiant and make some sort of point. If they say we can't do it, then don't. If your mentors made those rules would you blow them off?
Let's be reasonable.

KenWittlief
03-08-2004, 09:47 PM
good point Ed

the best solution for this problem, if most people are not happy with the food at an event, is for FIRST to talk with the facilites people, explain to them that we are not there for a few hours and munching on a pretzel or processed pizza slice is not going to sustain us

and see if we can have catered food brought in - These arenas are run by business people. as long as they can make a profit they dont care where it comes from.

BTW _ this whole food issue is an excellent example of the difference in quality you experience when people are donating their time and resources for something they believe in (like FIRST, the students, the mentors...)

and when people are just there for the money - ie, the food service people.

the difference is night and day.

ArJubx
03-08-2004, 09:52 PM
Uhhh what happens at a venue like the that at chesapeake? Held on the naval academy...heck we have to take shuttles to and from our cars. So are we going to be forced to pay absurd food prices? Or since this is not a major arena and owned by the gov, the prices are going to be acceptable.

Forsaken85
03-08-2004, 11:01 PM
You may say don't smuggle food in and go to another place to get food. But when you pressed for time, there is no time to get that nice cheap nasty food that was served to us. I barely ate cause i was so busy with judges, news media,other teams, the robot, pictures, and just having fun. When you are on the go then you need something good and cheap to eat. I am out raged by the food served at the Trenton regional. Food may be one vendor but still is an outrage. There are alot of problems with this world, one is the price of water. I was smart to bring my water bottle. And i really do not feel bad for smuggling cause of the over priced and nasty food and drink served. This is not the first time this whole matter has happened before. last year at houston we also received nasty food as well. Stuff that is not cooked or over cooked is not worth eating. All i ask is that they increase the selection of food and the quality of the food. That is all i ask. Then i would pay the higher prices for "GOOD" food. So far the Annapolis menu looks better then any other menu, i have seen so far. :ahh:

CrazyCarl461
03-08-2004, 11:47 PM
At least this isn't a problem so much at the Midwest Regional. We have Mustard's only a few feet away and that place is awesome! It is the only FIRST event where I actually look forward to the great food.

The Lucas
03-09-2004, 01:36 AM
I have this horrible image of you guys arrested and handcuffed in your bright shirts and pizza hanging out of your mouth!
Then dragged into the arena pits and paraded around to made an example of what happens to people who brake these "serious" rules. Oh... the nightmare.
(don't worry, they are not really police)
:ahh: ;)

We have a very large team (Probably like 70 people if you count everyone who shows up for a couple meetings). Basically, we have committees for everything. After we started using our Wobblies (noisemakers made from Lexan and painted green), someone came up and asked if we had a committee on Annoying Noisemakers. Well, ya sort of. The same huge committee, the MOE Boosterz (http://moe365.org/boosters.php), is in charge of food and lots of other things. They are mostly parents and engineer's wives who do many of the tasks needed to run the team, so the engineers can focus on the robot.

So when so many people whose job is to get food for the team are at a regional with overpriced, poor quality food, they quickly turn into the MOE Tailgating Authority/Pizza Smuggling Syndicate. They are particularly concerned about the poor Pit Crew, who slaves away all day fixing the bot, and The Pit Lord does not let them leave the Pit to go stand in line for bad food (waste of time, there are always things that need to be hit with lead hammers :D ). Same goes for the Comp Team. If they are out of sight for a couple minutes, someone goes looking for them.

I rarely eat competition food, anyway. Every year at Philly, I run down to 30th Street Station to eat at all the restaurants. I now get free volunteer food at Philly and I still eat there atleast once because it is tradition. I highly recommend it. Even if we didn't eat pizza in the parking lot at NJ, I would runto McDonalds to order a bunch of $1 Double Cheeseburgers and take them back to competition. I prefer 6 McDonalds double cheeseburgers to one $6 Sovern Bank Arena burger any day.

RoboMom
03-09-2004, 09:51 AM
Ah, the ultimate debate every year about food prices. As regional director for the Lone Star event in Texas, I can tell you everyone in the FIRST community is aware of the food situation. All of the venues have concession/catering contracts that have been negotiated. It doesn't matter if it is a college venue or sports facility. It is the same all across the nation. I agree with all of you that the food, drinks, snacks etc are overpriced for what one is used to paying at a high school venue. There are options. At the Lone Star, teams can bring their own food and tailgate in the parking lot or green space at the arena, the Houston committee has a list that is distributed to teams that has 60 eating places in the area or one can purchase the stadium. There are water fountains that can be used in lieu of bottled water. Our committee is trying to work with the catering company to get a nutrious meal for the teams. We'll see if we are successful or not.

In regard to VIPs and volunteers getting better food etc., we still are ordering food from the same catering company. We pay higher prices than you guys do. FIRST staff, volunteers etc. are not allowed to bring in their own food. We purchase it like everyone else. As stated so eloquently in the previous posts, smuggling in food is not the answer. It reflects badly on all of us when teams do this.

The situation in NJ, which has been mentioned many times above was:
1. There was NO healthy food available. ZIP. The food groups were fried and grease.
2. There was one water fountain that I could find in the entire arena.
3. There was no tailgating allowed as the parking lot was considered part of the arena.
4. Besides a McD a few blocks away, the only lunch places I could find were 5 blocks away; chinese and a decent pizza place. I did order a couple of sandwiches there, and ate them with some of the team in the rain (some of the poor pit crew), on the edge of the arena grounds, furtively hoping we wouldn't be busted.

I realize how hard you all work organizing these events. We do appreciate all the work the volunteers have done. But this is a big issue and it sounds like there is great variability among venues. Sounds like Annapolis is giving us some healthy options at least. Last year we were allowed to bring in a cooler of water each day. I guess they are changing the rules this year. I am most concerned, as a nurse, of the effects I see of dehydration on the team. Given the choice of paying $3 for a small bottle of water, most of the teams don't. Teams should be allowed to bring in water if there are not fountains available.

chocolateluvrlr
03-09-2004, 07:24 PM
where did you get the menu for annapolis? id like to see that...

MikeDubreuil
03-09-2004, 09:24 PM
where did you get the menu for annapolis? id like to see that...
Here it is (http://www.mitc.org/first/concessions.htm) :)

RoboMom
03-10-2004, 07:45 AM
where did you get the menu for annapolis? id like to see that...

In addition to the food available in the field house (thanks for having coffee on the menu!), for those that can leave for a bit, there are many places a 5-10 minute walk away, down at the City Dock. Hopefully everyone will be able to take a break sometime during the three days for a little while to take a walk. This is probably one of the prettiest venues for any regional. Remember this area was hit pretty hard by the hurricane last Sept.
Last year we snagged a couple of midshipmen to help us track down places to deliver pizza. They were very helpful. We met the pizza delivery at one of the gates!

chocolateluvrlr
03-10-2004, 03:17 PM
i looked up restaurants in the area. there are tons, but i found this link which was helpful. these places carry out and deliver

http://www.usna.edu/28thCo/Resources/Info/Resources_Restaurant_info.html

the restaurants are particularly close to the radison hotel, where we will be staying...around a 5 minute drive.