Cobo Level 2 to Ford Field?


We aren’t going to Detroit this year, but I am a big logistics guy and I am curious about moving your team from Cobo to Ford Field in Detroit since this is the first big show there.

  1. Suppose you are one of the eight teams to advance from Cobo to Ford Field, how do you get your robot, pit, battery chargers to Ford Field over 1 mile away?

  2. Same as above at the end of the day, you have to move your whole team from Cobo to Ford Field. Will 35,000 people fit in the 12 people mover cars with pickup intervals of 3-5 minutes? Each car can hold 66 people standing and 2 wheel chairs.

Do the math on that…66 people load up at the Cobo stop every 5 minutes. Might be better off walking the mile on this one with your team. The closest drop off to Ford Field will be Broadway stop or Greektown stop.


In Houston, FIRST handled transportation for teams in the finals. Teams were escorted to a loading dock at the end of the round robin. We were instructed to strap the robots to pallets (they provided pallets & ratchet straps). We shrink-wrapped our pit (they did not provide the shrink wrap). They handled loading the truck (plenty of room for everything on two large box vans), and FIRST employees/SRE reps/FTAs were on site to ensure that stuff was packed safely. Drive teams & pit crews were escorted (walked) to MMP. When the trucks arrived, we helped unload them (they had lift gates). At the end of the finals, repeat the process in reverse. It wasn’t the smoothest process ever, but everyone involved was gracious and was working hard to ensure that no robots were damaged and everything worked out well for the teams.


For (1), FIRST provided a truck to transport the robots and pits to Minute Maid Park and is imagine they will do the same in Detroit.


oooooohhh thanks for that info!!


To expand on Nick’s info, you will receive a sheet from FIRST after round robin with info on the next steps.

That sheet in Houston did not mention a truck. It said you will push your pits down the street. It also said that you must vacate the convention center pits prior to leaving for Minute Maid Park (this is not true, you obviously can’t vacate the pit since your crate is there).

They may be more explicit about the truck in Detroit given that you can’t possibly be expected to push your pit a mile down the street, but our alliance had to tell them we wanted the truck - we were not initially told it was an option.

edit: misremembered what it said. It did say truck was available for pits, but said teams will push their robots (because they did not want to damage the robots). I believe all teams chose to put robots on trucks.

I would also recommend any teams that make the Einstein Finals look at the Ford Field seat map and see if the reserved seating is actually better than the open seating. That was not the case in Houston.


I’m curious. Is your pit on wheels or something? How did you transport it?


Our pit consists of 3 rolling toolboxes. We pushed them to the truck then loaded them on the truck.


For (1): Thank you (Jared, Cory and Nick) for the “inside scoop” to the lucky 8 at Detroit. Seems satisfying there is a good plan.

For (2): 32 minute walk 1.5 miles seems to be the best option, unless you are one of the lucky 66 people or 132 depending on if they have the single cars or double cars per train configured next week and hope it’s not raining.,+Brush+Street,+Detroit,+MI/Cobo+Center,+4420,+1+Washington+Blvd,+Detroit,+MI+48226/@42.3337076,-83.0571687,15z/data=!3m2!4b1!5s0x883b2d3b72043fcf:0x33a319b9391f8800!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x883b2d2d6742e0b7:0xd4923792afe689b6!2m2!1d-83.045603!2d42.3400064!1m5!1m1!1s0x883b2d3b90651d39:0xf38417235af02ab9!2m2!1d-83.049952!2d42.326616!3e2


I’m assuming it was moved by FIRST in the truck. Their alliance partner’s pit was wrapped up when they moved it into Minute Maid Park, so I’m assuming theirs was as well. Their pit looked pretty minimal on the stream when it was occasionally visited by the camera, just what you need to maintain a robot.

My favorite part about this entire move was watching a team pushing their robot cart down the dirt path around the edge of the park… Looked painful for those poor casters :frowning:

EDIT: I wonder what moving was like in 2017 for Houston… they had to move all the subdivisions over to Minute Maid, not just two of them. Must have been a much more interesting experience for teams.


2017 was a similar set up, pits loaded into trucks and brought to Minute Maid. I would imagine the main difference was that it took longer to load/unload 24 teams rather than 8 teams, but overall pretty much the same.

One big difference in transportation that we dealt with in 2017 was the “Robot Parade” where we all pushed our robots on our carts down the street to Minute Maid. One of our cart wheels fell off part way through and students had to help carry it the rest of the way to Minute Maid. I think 5499’s cart collapsed iirc. Good times.


Let’s assume a best case scenario. Double cars running at 3 minute intervals.
132 people every 3 minutes board the People Mover at the Cobo stop. 132 people * 20 3 minute cycles per hour is 2,640 people moved in an hour at maximum capacity. Moving 35,000 people at that rate would take approximately 13 hours.

Assuming the whole move could take at a maximum two hours, and that teams are conservatively estimated to an average of 25 people, the People Mover could, in a BEST case scenario, move 211 FRC teams to Ford Field in 2 hours, assuming no other traffic or Jr/FLL/FTC teams use this transit system.


My team (612) will consist of approx 50 students and the plan is to just walk the mile. Shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes. I assume most other teams will do the same and leave the People Mover for those who truly need to use it.

Some teams I’m sure will board a team bus near the Cobo Center and then get dropped off.
A mile isn’t that far, considering how much walking you do without even realizing it at comp. This won’t be a huge deal…


You can add to that a bunch of the MOGO bikes… :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


For the Detroit Championships, each of the 8 bots will be transported by Ford Transit Vans along with 1 or 2 team members from Cobo Hall to Ford Field. Pits will be moved by 2 moving trucks provided by FIRST. As for the rest of the team, they will need to make their way over to Ford Field on their own. My team is walking…


COBO has more than enough room to house the whole thing. They really need to not do this move in the future…