[BB] What Do You Want at St. Louis Championships

From Bill’s Blog, he’s looking for comments on what’s important to have in St. Louis next year.

“With a new venue comes new opportunities. Everything about CMP is under discussion at the moment, the size of the pits, the location of playing fields, the schedule, the food, even the role of suppliers and exhibitors. What is the most important element of CMP for your team? Playing in the dome? Having a pit next to other teams in your division? Robo Prom? You tell me. Also, thinking outside the CMP box for a second, what don’t we have at CMP right now that you’d like to include in the future? I’ll be interested to see your comments below.”

You might want to drop Bill a note on his Blog.

With the addition of more matches that they did this year, maybe they could try two fields per division and run them how they did the “super” regionals. While one field is being reset the other is running a match. That way teams could get more matches and they might not have to scramble as much to get robots inspected by 12 on Thursday.

However this all boils down to space at the venue, i don’t really know how big the venue is in St. Louis.

Here is a link to a map of the Edward Jones Dome at America’s Center in St Louis. http://www.explorestlouis.com/meetings/centerTour/index.asp

Our team has not been able to go to Atlanta, but I went one year to observe. The first thing I realized was the distance from the pits to the field. The St Louis layout looks much closer, assuming the pits are in the halls marked 4 and 5 and the other areas (vending, merchandise, etc) are further away.

After further inspection, I am realizing that Hall 6 is directly under? the football stadium. Interesting.

It looks like hall 6 is the equivalent of the Dome floor, and seating is on the floor “above” the Dome floor, rather than being a separate area underneath the stadium.

“What, behind the rabbit?”
“No. It is the rabbit.”

The venue in St. Louis is large enough for the pits and fields and spectators for all 4 events at the Championship. However, I’m 99% certain that it would be difficult to get a second field per division in there.

I’ve been there, and I’d say that it would be possible to get those extra fields if and only if FTC and FLL and JFLL were held in the America’s Ballroom (upstairs from the convention halls) and the theater in the complex and the other side rooms, or in a lobby area on the second floor. That would clear a space where Franklin and Edison typically go, and open up Einstein for use in matches. Some clever floor arrangement could get the rest of the space. I don’t think it’s worth the effort, though, particularly since now you’re taking FTC and FLL robots up stairs.

It never made much sense to me why the FLL field was on the floor of the Dome. I competed in the FLL World Festival in 2003 and 2005. In 2003 it wasn’t on Einstein, and in 2005 it was.

We were a bit disappointed in 2003 to find that we were somewhat of a “side show” to the big robots. That said, we were near the pathway between the pits and the field, so we got to watch robots stream by all day. However, being in our own little world meant we could speak to the judges in a normal speaking tone, and watch other robots compete.

On the floor of the Dome, we did get to see the FRC robots competing, but they still were never really introduced to us (I was already on 1276 though, so I took a great interest! :cool:). That said, it still felt sort of like a side show because we couldn’t hear ourselves think over the noise from Curie and Galileo. The path was also not well marked between areas (this may have changed in the past 5 years) so we managed to get very lost between the GWCC and the Dome.

The mesh never seemed quite right. My dad was really interested in FRC in 2003, so he went out of his way to talk to FRC teams about the program, and we even had one team (the robot was green, I think it was MOE) who showed us kids all sorts of neat-o robot stuff. In 2006 when 1276 went as an FRC team, we went out of our way to show our robot to Maine’s FLL team. Through official channels we learned surprising little about the big robots travelling every which way round us.

Is there anything like the CNN center for food near the site of the championships in St. Louis. If not is there anyway FIRST could bring in cheap affordable vendors.

At the championships, I love the atmosphere. I almost wish the pits were organized completely numerically rather than by division, yet there are major disadvantages with that setup as well.

I don’t mind the long haul from the pits to the dome in Atlanta. It’s a trek, but that means we get TONS of exercise and MUST be organized (or get organized quickly).

I’d like to see Wednesday’s agenda cleaned up or better organized. Do we bring a skeleton crew on Wednesday or the whole team? If we bring the whole team, what on Earth will they do the whole time if only a couple of people are allowed to do any work in the pits and (let’s say) only half attend conferences? If we only bring a skeleton crew, then why do the rest of the students have to miss the opportunities to see FRC Titans present conference material in person and ask questions afterwards? It’s a minor paradox, but due to the high quality of Wednesday’s conferences as they apply to the FRC build season, I’d like to see more students have the opportunity to come. Does St. Louis offer more conference room space for Thursday/Friday?

After years of hearing people complain about how “awful” Atlanta was crime wise when in reality they weren’t even on the list of the most dangerous cities in America we are now going to the second most dangerous city in America.
I think assuring the safety of every team, volunteer and spectator attending the event is of the highest priority. Especially after some of the misfortune that had happened to a couple of teams at this year’s championship.

No and yes. Union Station is a ways away. (2 stops on the Metrolink, IIRC.)

However, don’t bring in cheap affordable vendors when they’re already there. $5 for a plate of good spaghetti, and that’s just one of the options. Just make sure that you go to the carts, NOT the stands. (And, make sure the carts are out–if anyone in FRC operations sees this, it would be a good idea to confirm that they will be out during the event.)

There are also a large number of places within a few minutes’ walk. They range from fast food/subs all the way up to T.G.I. Friday’s or better. Or send someone for pizza or something like that–there are some good places in a short radius.

I’ve been working on a writeup on the area around the America’s Center for a little while now. Guess I better finish it up pretty quickly…

by this you mean that they dont charge you an extra $1 for cheese on your $10 hamburger?

If you go to one of the carts, nope. I don’t know about the stands; they’re more expensive than the carts. (And trust me, the one time I went to one, I got a salad instead of a more expensive sandwich.)

The carts don’t have anything more than about $5, IIRC.

I would like for my mother-in-law and my son to be allowed to use elevators and/or escalators, as needed, and without suffering any indignity for needing to.
Even if it means they might have to pass through a VIP area. :frowning:

Many teams shop for groceries to make healthy breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for their teams. It would be totally AWEsome to have information provided in advance so that teams that will be traveling to St. Louis for the Championship event will know what is available and where. Names of the businesses and maps/distances would be very helpful. If nothing is close by for teams in the way of groceries - that information is very important to know - and if possible, alternative solutions be created/provided that won’t destroy already tight budgets.

It’s very cool that the Robo Prom was mentioned. Now would be a great time for folks to say if they think it is valuable and an asset to the event.


It was cool to have FLL along side the bigger competitions. It was amazing being there and looking around at the sheer size of the arena and knowing that everywhere around you there would be other robotics competitions going on. For FRC, yes FLL doesn’t make much sense being down in the dome, but for students and FLL teams, it’s a pretty big deal and is pretty awesome that it happens that way.

How about some simple stuff like letting students carry a water bottle, snacks and candy into the event.
And please let the security people know that teams will line up before doors open, and they will be carrying a lot of stuff into the pits.

I would like to see the President of the United States attend and speak, and I would like to see hot pizza at the after party. I would also like to see more team members allowed into the pits on Wednesday evening, and the wrist-band process replaced with a computer-printable bar-code pass, or just a name check-in. I also would like to see an established process for transferring pit areas from the pits to the fieldside, for teams competing in the finals, and more members allowed here as well.

Also, I would like to see an increase in sound quality and a decrease in sound volume.

I like the sound of that.

See what I did there? :smiley:

At least, nothing close to Archimedes levels. Some other fields (Galileo) were fine though, but how hard is it to check stuff like volume?

I really like this idea. As big of a factor safety is, I think that buying a $4 water vs. dehydrated students is ridiculous. And don’t say that go to the water fountain. One can only go to the fountain so many times.