District event in the U.P. (michigan) please respond

I am planning to hopefully start an event in the U.P.
my question is how many teams would be willing to bare the cold and travel to the U.P. for the event. Just so when i start to get the wheels moving i will know a general amount. Its not a :Yes i am committed now to going:, more like your willing to do it. thanks :slight_smile:

I’m a college student at NMU in Marquette (central U.P.) and have to travel a ways to get my FIRST fix (Milwaukee/Chicago). I think an event in the U.P. would be a great idea, even though it would probably end up being in Houghton as there aren’t any teams local to Marquette. Might have to change that.

I Am also at NMU i have been looking for others that are here.

We have found what we pretty much expected to find - FiM is like a “Field of Dreams” - That is, “If you build it, they will come.”

No offence to the teams, but where they say they would or would not go is unreliable. That’s mainly because they have no idea what to expect when they get there. All they see initially is the distance traveled, which we know is not the proper metric, because we all will go a long way for a quality event at a reasonable price.

Don’t let an apparent lack of team interest dissuade you, should you find that to be the case. If you put together the personnel that can coordinate all it takes to make a great event - venue, venue, venue - location, location, accommodations, and co$t - then FiM can (and will) make it happen.

I know that our team has at least one senior that is looking at heading off the U.P. next year for collage and 1 possibly the year after that is looking that route as well. They would probabbly love it if there were events up there even if our team couldn’t make it up there to compete at just so they had an event that they could at least go to and watch.

I hope your effort pays off and you can get another event. I also really hope that the new structure in michigan pays off as well. I am new to FRC this year as a mentor but in talking with alot of the 2nd year students on our team it seems like a better way of doing things.

An absolutely HUGE issue with teams is the travel cost. If you can find a way to alleviate that - say donated housing from a local university for $5 a night, you’ll probably lure quite a few other teams that wouldn’t normally drive.

However, doing a UP event is going to be very difficult. Traverse city was one of the last districts to fill up because of the travel required, and you’re talking about adding another 5 hours or more to that trip. Good luck!

Elaborating on the driving issue, we see that traverse (the farthest north event) is the least attended event, and mostly by northern teams because of cost. If you did one in the UP the cost would be very large. I agree that if we could get cheap hotels it may change our minds. I know a cheap hotel would help a lot!

NMU is home to the largest wooden dome in the world. How sweet would it be to have a competition in there? I know a few professors up here who would be thrilled to have a robotics competition (even though one told me he doesn’t like all the restrictions). We only have a robotics class once every 2 years, and even then only make table top bots, but I’m hoping to help create a larger curriculum for it up here. How are everyone’s winter camping skills? :smiley: I think orchestrating cheap housing with the university might be difficult during school times, but not impossible. Maybe if the event was to be held during NMU’s spring break.

I go to school at MTU and am the lead mentor for team 857. If this district event thing sticks the western part if not the whole UP will more than likely be made part of the MN, WI and UP region. Its just not cost effective for the teams in the Western part of the UP to have to travel down state. As for a competition here(MTU) or there(NMU) we’ve been looking at it for awhile and we really only see it working as an off season event, currently. I know i hate traveling 10+ hours to compete and im sure people in the LP are with me in not wanting to come up here.

If it goes to the MN, WI, UP region then i def see a comp up here as alot more teams are closer…

Well first off, if this First in Michigan thing sticks and spreads then that may be a good reason to have a district event (or two) in the UP. You also bring up a good point with opening the events up to MN and WI. If FiM will allow teams out of state to participate, then this will for sure make a district event up there seam more real.

If FiM doesn’t open it up to the previously stated region, then how many teams are there in the UP and upper LP? It would take about 30 (or so) teams to participate to make up a fair event (fair because any less teams and we would have almost no teams being not picked). That number may have to be a few teams higher if LP teams don’t attend the proposed event due to driving.

alright… Im starting to get the ball rolling at NMU about an event here. The biggest question i got is the fact that teams from the L.P. have to travel up here. So how many teams would like to come here and compete?

I’d definitely love to come, probably influenced by the fact that I love the UP but don’t get up there enough. I’m sure I could wrangle my way up there (especially if it ends up sticking in two years, because I’ll hopefully be up at MTU), but I don’t know about my team, because of cost. However, we did make the trek to Pittsburgh two years ago, so it might not be as out-of-our-league as it may seem.

I suppose it would also matter which week the event is. You definitely wouldn’t want it to be the same week as TC.

Which part of the competition season has the lowest risk of bad driving weather up there? That is a big concern when hauling carloads of students.

  • Would it be feasible to switch off with another event (like TC, etc.) and hold an event up there every other year?

It would sure help if non-MI teams could attend.

I wouldn’t rule it out, but can’t make any promises either. Houghton would require students to take another full day out of school (not that they would mind). Perhaps once every few years.

I agree with Eric here. It will depend on if they do split up the nation and do district how easy it would be to get teams to participate in that regional. The UP is closer for a lot of teams from MN and WI then it is for most MI teams. I personally would love to head up there for an event, but travel budget would make it hard (and the drive time).

NMU or MTU would be some of the better places to try to organize an event at. NMU might be closer for a lot of teams, but I know MTU does sponsor a team and even has a FIRST Scholarship so it might be easier to convince them to have an event. But good luck, hopefully you can get something going!

I don’t think it would be a feasible option to switch off with TC, seeing how last year (and this year) a large chunk of the teams that are attending are from the LP, and moving that event up north a few hours would defer many teams from attending. My team for one isn’t attending TC this year because of cost. Immagine if the gas costs were increased because of distance.

And to cover your other point, I think it would be awesome if non-MI teams could attend. Many teams from the UP attended WI regionals in the past, and I think that our neighbors from the west would want to attend also.

Thinking about that reminded me of a band from WI that I was talking to at a show I attended, and they said that it was extremely common for them to tour in the UP, even though they were from Wisconsin. In fact they had only been to the LP once (of couse at the show I attended).

There are 4 teams currently in the UP, 3 in the Houghton area, the western UP, and one in Sault St. Marie which is about as far east in the UP as you can get. The only way a district or regional competition will ever work in the UP is if the Up is split and the western UP doesn’t have to be apart of lower Michigan’s district. There is no way you are going to get 36-37 other teams from lower Michigan to travel around 10 hours, one way, to go to a comp. It would be much easier to have teams from WI and MN up here seeing as their average drive time would be closer to 6 or 7 hours.

An off season event is much more likely to get teams up here seeing as you can hold it in the summer and students don’t have to take time off school.

I know that you would be able to find volunteers for the event, especially at Tech, where it is swarming with former Robotics students, and i bet you could get them to open up the Yooper dome for the competition, but the best way to get teams to travel up there would be if you could get the school to open the dorms like they do for Kettering, I know it would really make it more justifiable for teams to select a competition further away if they didn’t have to pay for lodging, and instead paid a little more for the ride up.

Best way to pitch it to the schools, I would have to say the exposure to all of the super nerds that would be staying at their college are looking into programs through the college at the same time.

MTU has the Summer Youth Programs running all summer, so DHH would be out for dorms. Unless they were to open Wadsworth for teams :confused: The SYPs also use a lot of areas on campus, so I can’t see MTU holding a residence-available-on-campus off-season too soon.

Kettering opens dorms? Huh?