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Unread 09-14-2007, 08:58 AM
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Microsoft Seattle Regional, Mar. 20-22, 2008

What follows is information we were provided at a meeting this week of FIRSTWA. It's not confirmed until FIRST says it's confirmed, but I can't imagine much about it will change.

The biggest item of note is that the Seattle Regional won't be held in Seattle at all, but in Tacoma, WA. If you're not familiar with the region, Tacoma is about 25 miles south of downtown Seattle and 15 miles south of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. It's far enough from Seattle that teams traveling from outside the Puget Sound region will want to find accommodations in Tacoma proper.

The venue is The Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center in the heart of the city's downtown waterfront. There is no seating at this venue, so I understand they'll be bringing in bleachers for the event.

Capacity is 40 teams. I expect that growth in the area will mean that there are about 15-20 teams, maybe a bit more, within 50 miles of the venue. The balance will likely come from Oregon and British Columbia, but teams from Oregon will probably register for the Oregon Regional first. We'd love to see some folks from out of region come to visit.
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Unread 09-15-2007, 02:00 AM
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Re: Microsoft Seattle Regional, Mar. 20-22, 2008

We're quite excited about the opportunities for BC teams presented by the Microsoft Regional. Portland has been an excellent competition in an outstanding venue in a fabulous city, but to have the competition close enough to home that we can have parents and potential sponsors come down for a day is really exciting.

Hopefully we might be able to get some BC teams to both regionals and the MS Seattle competition (combined with current exchange rates...) might stimulate a bit of team growth up here.

I think this is a big step forward for all teams and potential teams in the Pacific Northwest.

Jason

P.S. For teams from outside the region, I highly recommend you find some time to swing by Boeing. The Boeing Museum of Flight is almost as good as the Smithsonian Air and Space (although I haven't seen the Udvar Hazy centre yet...) and the factory tour can be pretty cool, too.
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Unread 09-15-2007, 11:35 PM
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Re: Microsoft Seattle Regional, Mar. 20-22, 2008

Yes, I agree. Our team went there in 2006. Awesome!
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Unread 10-03-2007, 12:17 AM
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Re: Microsoft Seattle Regional, Mar. 20-22, 2008

From what I've heard they're trying to make Seattle as impressive as possible, and have the teams have a great time there. I would be overly happy if our team decided to go there.
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Unread 10-03-2007, 12:57 AM
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Re: Microsoft Seattle Regional, Mar. 20-22, 2008

I'll bet we are the only team in all of FIRST who is disappointed that the MS Seattle Regional is on the same weekend as Waterloo and the weekend before GTR. It is going to make it really hard to get to both Seattle and a Canadian competition. Sure FedEx MIGHT be able to get our robot from across the border and across the continent in three days, but it usually takes ME a week or so to recover from a regional.

This isn't a complaint, really... like I say, there probably aren't too many teams who base their year around competing in the Pacific Northwest AND Ontario... and Portland is still there for us, and we have always had a great time there.

Jason
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Unread 10-03-2007, 07:09 AM
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Re: Microsoft Seattle Regional, Mar. 20-22, 2008

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Originally Posted by dtengineering View Post
I'll bet we are the only team in all of FIRST who is disappointed that the MS Seattle Regional is on the same weekend as Waterloo and the weekend before GTR. ...
Jason
Jason, you'll just have to get an event in BC or Alberta, then you can easily go to a Canadian regional.
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Unread 10-03-2007, 01:28 PM
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Re: Microsoft Seattle Regional, Mar. 20-22, 2008

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Originally Posted by GaryVoshol View Post
Jason, you'll just have to get an event in BC or Alberta, then you can easily go to a Canadian regional.
It might be a while before we get a new regional up here, but we are looking at the potential for an off-season event as a good way to start. We definitely would like to host a regional here in Vancouver one day. In the meanwhile we're going to keep running up the odometer and working on our road game.

Jason
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Unread 11-20-2007, 09:02 PM
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Re: Microsoft Seattle Regional, Mar. 20-22, 2008

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Originally Posted by M. Krass View Post
The biggest item of note is that the Seattle Regional won't be held in Seattle at all, but in Tacoma, WA. If you're not familiar with the region, Tacoma is about 25 miles south of downtown Seattle and 15 miles south of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The venue is The Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center in the heart of the city's downtown waterfront.
Well, this thread isn't exactly burning up the bandwidth, but I do have a question for the "locals"...

Where do you recommend that visiting teams stay? I was able to drop down a couple weekends ago and see a little more of Tacoma than that big dome that we always drive past on the way to Portland, and while there were a couple of nice hotels near the convention centre, it didn't look like there was a lot of food choices or evening activities for the students within an easy walk of the hotels.

Are there any places near to Tacoma where there is a hotel next to a large mall or shopping district that is open into the evening?

Thanks,

Jason
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Unread 03-21-2008, 08:25 PM
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Re: Microsoft Seattle Regional, Mar. 20-22, 2008

The Tacoma Convention Center is a pretty nice venue for an event as small as this one. There are only 31 teams, so I think we all very much appreciate that there's not much distance to cover between the pits and the field. We frequently have waits of only 2 to 4 matches before we are supposed to compete again -- 11 rounds in one fewer hour than most regionals.

We're chasing gremlins, as are many teams competing at their second event. Strange things happen to robots that sit in a crate for a few weeks. We've added some pieces that make the ball very secure in our grabbing forks, but the consequence was that it reduced the efficacy of our ability to knock balls down. We've been able to mitigate that somewhat, but we're having much less success knocking balls down in hybrid at this event than we did in Portland. We are still, by our data, the highest scoring machine on average at the event, so we're satisfied with that.

Congratulations to Jason Brett from team 1346 for winning the Regional Woodie Flowers Award!

Also -- a giant congratulations to Kevin Ross of FIRSTWA. Kevin works endlessly to promote FIRST in Washington and to support all of the teams here and was named Volunteer of the Year today. It's about time.

Officiating, even, is going well. I'm happy with the consistency and quality of rule interpretations and the staff has been very approachable with questions.
Don Knight is our announcer and he's doing a great job of explaining penalties -- mentioning explicitly which team was penalized and which rule was violated. Perfect.

Onward to tomorrow.
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Last edited by Madison : 03-21-2008 at 08:31 PM. Reason: Thanks for the head's up ;)
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