2004 Nats??

I know I am jumping REALLY far ahead but I was wondering how many of you think next years Nationals will be back in Orlando.?

I hope it will be…so I dont have a 18 hour bus ride next year

I liked nats in Florida. It was a fairly good venue, with fairly good stuff to do after the competition. Not only that, airfare was fairly cheap. The only problem was that Diseny over charged by like 150% for their packages. Oh yeah, then I could also see all my friends on teams from Florida.


I wouldn’t know because I’m not in Houston for nationals this year. I’m an alumni from an Orlando team and I LOVED Nationals at Disney.

What do you guys think? Is Houston better than Orlando, or is Orlando better than Houston? I know I wish soooo bad it was back in Orlando but Disney did overcharge. It had something to do with them loosing money though because they usually charge for parking and I guess those days they had to give out the parking for free. Still though, Orlando in my oppinion seems like the natural choice for nationals. I miss it :frowning:

The Reliant complex is an amazing place for the Championship event. Granted, I live in Houston, and might be a little biased, but it is incredible to be in the Astrodome and to see the pits laid out in front of you. 118’s pit is a stone’s throw from the home bullpen, which is cool, but the whole building is amazing, historically and architecturally. And if you like orange, are you in luck! The biggest difference is the size of the pit area themselves

Even though the individual pits themselves aren’t any bigger, there is tons of room for people to spread out and test their robot. I love it. And if we come back next year (the big test will be tomorrow afternoon), I’d like to see nationals opened back up to all teams. We have the space for it, and the more the merrier.

I really don’t like this whole qualifying deal. I mean it just hurts the students feelings. I am VERY lucky that I was an even numbered team on my last year of FIRST. That was the first year they initiated the qualifying. I think it was probably an issue of money and not being able to support so many teams. With as many teams as they have now, if all were able to go to nationals then they’d probably need 1 or 2 more fields.

Though I hope first comes back to Orlando (my hometown), if it means that they were to get rid of qualifying, Houston would be a much better place to hold it.

And the discussion begins…

I think that Nats will probably be somewhere entirely different next year. The Reliant complex was decent, but the pits and fields were way too far apart. You don’t realize how far it is until you have to lug a robot there and back about 5 or 6 times in one day.

As for qualifying, I’m afraid it’s probably here to stay. The criteria will only get tougher as time goes on. FIRST is just too big to have an open national event. It’s disappointing, but there’s just no way to make it so that 800+ teams can get an open invitation to Nationals.

Qualifying makes sense. Nationals has to be a little exclusive to be special. And FIRST isn’t about an annual vacation…attending TWICE in a high school carreer is fair.

There was MUCH walking at Houston…but I liked it.

It would be unfair to odd teams return to Disney next year.

Random cities around the country would be cool…like those BALL-CENTERED sports do for championships! lol

Lisa T =)

Ok now that Nationals are over, for those of you that did attend …would you say Houston or Orlando??

While qualifying is probably here to stay, FIRST needs to move the Nationals further back for next year. I don’t think its fair for teams to have 15 minutes to decide if they’ll be shipping the robot. 3 days is not much time to prepare a trip like this.

i’m still wondering if nationals could be held after APs. i know that many schools (silly floridans, for example :p) get out right after APs, but that time of year is much better, as teachers can’t kill us poor students for missing school :).

i’d love to have it back at disney next year, as when i went last year, it was definitly one of the coolest things i’ve ever done. my team was prety liberal, and walking around the parks/competition with friends and everything, was just amazing. i know the same thing probably happened at houston, but i dunno, disney world is sort of magic, in a way :p. either that, or i’ve seen too many of those commercials…

:slight_smile: Some ideas

Houston Better for:

Lots of pit space, you could walk around. Space to sit in the stands to eat a meal. The view of the pits from up in the stands was awesome. Lighting was good. 4 fields separated enough that the sound did not interfere from one field to the other.

Epcot Better for:
The excitement that the closeness of pits and playing fields brings. You got absolutely absorbed by the event. It was easier to watch other divisions events. Easier to move from pits to playing field for quick repairs.

Ideas to improve at Houston -
An easier way to move between the buildings.
Video on a screen behind the playing field -timers were tough to see from the stands.
Standings displayed near the playing fields.

I think both locations have good and bad points.
I like the idea of a new location each year - Lots of big cities have Domes and Convention Centers linked - like INDIANAPOLIS!

I like the idea of a new location each year - Lots of big cities have Domes and Convention Centers linked - like INDIANAPOLIS!
Although I agree with this statement, I do think that not just any location be considered. Similar to the Super Bowl, the nationals should be kept in the southern states such that it is a warmer climate, making it more enjoyable. This is more than likely why Houston was chosen. No offense to those who live farther north (I used to live in Calgary myself), but a colder climate would just be more difficult to work with.

*Originally posted by BBFIRSTCHICK *
**Ok now that Nationals are over, for those of you that did attend …would you say Houston or Orlando?? **

I wasn’t at nationals but…



Personally, I think Houston. Before I get chewed out, consider this:

Epcot is becoming too small… I remember last year, trying to find seats in the small bleachers behind any divisional field (besides Einstein, which was sweltering hot anyway). I remember a space only the size of the pits to contain the pits. While some would call it “cozy,” I think it limits the growth potential of the largest competition FIRST currently has. I feel with a venue as large and spacious as Reliant Park, there is much more room for growth. With that much space avaliable, maybe next year there could be 5 divisions, with 400 teams able to qualify. At the rate FIRST is growing, there will be well over 1000+ teams very soon, and if only 300 are allowed to advance, it becomes farther and farther away for teams. Inside Reliant Stadium, many more fields can easily be built with room to spare, and in the Astrodome, the pits can be expanded exponentially. Just because a shoe doesn’t fit now does not mean it won’t be grown into. I think it just needs a chance to find out what FIRST is and what it’s about before spirit can develop. The walk from pits to fields can be overcome in many different ways, from splitting the fields and pits (2 divisions with associated pits in one place, the other 2 in the other), or signing waivers allowing golf carts to move teams around. All in all I enjoyed Houston a lot more this year than Epcot last year. I am curious to see what others think though, so we’ll see what happens.

The only gripe I had with EPCOT is size- but that’s fixable…

Houston, on the other hand, kinda dissapointed me… I felt trapped in the stadiums- in EPCOT you could just go in the park for lunch, at any restaraunt you liked… And the food prices were actually better- I never thought I’d see that day

The walks back and forth really bothered me… I never understood why they just didn’t open up the big black gates so that you didn’t have to walk all the way around all of the time… This killed us when 111 flipped us in the semis and we had to run back to the pits to get a 10 tooth sprocket (which had been sheared)- first time all year we didn’t use our arm to self-right ourselves…

And when I tried to go up to the top to get a cool 360 degree effect with my camera, the security lady said that FIRST didn’t rent the top three levels… I offered to rent it for 30 seconds, but she wouldn’t let me do so.

Disney already has everything set up for its tourists, and in my opinion it’s the best place for the Championship Event… Hopefully they’ll drop down their prices.

I heard some rumors that Disney was considering building a permanent area for FIRST. It will also be used for concerts and other things as well. I wasn’t at Housin but having to walk 5-6 minuts to get to a field seems excessive, thats 10 minuts per trip and with 6 matches. An entire hour wasted just moving the bot. Plus during finals when time is crucial teams can’t go to there pits to repair/resuply as easy.

Epcot has almost unlimited room and setup options because it all tents. They can enlarge stands and pit sizes to match the amount of teams. Also being able to go from competition to the park in 2 minuts is a great perk. My last year in HIgh School we stayed at the Bayou, on of Disneys hotels and I didn’t leave the park all week. The buses come every few minuts inside the park compared to the hourly shuttles to go outside. Plus the fact that in 2000 they launched a rocket to Mars during Nats. Florida has a ton of perks and I hope Nats return ther next year.

I agree with the superbowl idea.

There should be a raffle for cities that will hold nationals. Why not have them in the Staples Center or Dodger stadium? (Don’t ask me where pits would be :slight_smile: ) Its not very hot here in April

Every year over memorial day weekend I play in a roller hockey tournament in Wide World of Sports. In addition, there is a baseball and soccer tournament going on at the same time. I think that this would be a great place to have the nationals. They could set up the pits in the arena they use for hockey, have the fields under tents out on the soccer fields, and have Einstein in the baseball stadium. The walk from teh soccer field to the statdium takes less than two minutes. Plus, you can take the buses to the parks to eat, or eat at the all-star cafe that is on site.

*Originally posted by DanielBCR *
**I agree with the superbowl idea.

There should be a raffle for cities that will hold nationals. **

no offense, but why would the cities want to hold nationals? and why would it be good for FIRST? i believe that FIRST sent letters asking if they could hold the event there. All in all, if a city was dependent on tourism then FIRST would not be good 4 them because we clog up all the hotels and such. plus it must be fairly cheap, because FIRST is not for-profit, but it still wont exist if its nothing but a huge hole economicaly.