FIRST Arena

If you were tasked with designing the ideal convention center for hosting world championships, what are some things you’d implement?

My current thoughts are a circular/semicircular array of fields with pits on one side and stands on another.

Just a random thought that came up in discussions and wanted to see what others had to say, I look forward to the replies!

No strobe lights would definitely be a requirement on that list.

24 Likes

Ideal? As in, cost/upkeep isn’t a problem?

  • 3-floored convention center
    • Bottom floor is large enough to hold 1008 FRC pits, inspection/pit admin, and vendor booths
    • Middle floor has four FTC fields and stands with enough space left over to hold roughly 400 10x10 FTC pits
    • Top floor is used for the FLL programs and Innovation Fair
  • Attached domed, 12-sided stadium
    • More-or-less the dome in St. Louis
    • Stands on both sides of the fields since there’s a lot of empty space in the middle
    • Sorry if you’re all the way in Sagan division, might want to head off to your match a few minutes early
      • Hi, I just remembered there are already 12 division names and I made one up for no reason. Oops.
  • Built in rural Illinois
    • Near center of the country
    • Worst case for state politics is their governor gets arrested again

This is a terrible idea. It would cost FIRST hundreds of millions, take up a bunch of space, probably look terrible, and be completely unusable for anything else.

So, who wants to invest?

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  1. Quieter music - I wasn’t there but a lot of people are going home with tinnitus
  2. Field sounds not interfering with other divisions - A fair number of teams were messed up during auto/endgame after hearing the signal from another field. It would be nice to have some fix to this, as to avoid confusion during the highly stressful matches.
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Intriguing.

My man actually wants to build the Panopticon.

Now it really is starting to sound like a prison.

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Quite a few of us have lost our voices after having to yell at the people right next to us for 4 days.

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The only thing that is low volume at champs is a Dean Kamen speech.

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I’ve been thinking about this off-and-on for a while.

The first question is, is this JUST for FIRST Champs, or would it have other possible uses as well? E.g.: Could it also double as an event venue, for concerts as an example, or as a makerspace? If I was doing this for a regional I’d definitely be thinking about both of those… gotta make some money while it’s not robots season.

  1. Basement. In addition to being a severe weather shelter, the basement has a machine shop, outfitted with manual and CNC machines of various types. This allows rapid repairs of robots, building equipment, and some money-making as the shop can be either a makerspace or a job shop. The basement would also have designated storage space (enough for several fields worth of road cases, plus other similar items). Also includes the building office (for building staff, including maintenance, security, and rental).
  2. First Floor: FRC. Due to the heavy nature of FRC fields, robots, and pits, they’re on floor 1. This floor has space for some number of fields (up to 12, possibly more). However, each field is in its own “bay”–that is, each field can be closed off fully from the others, either by temporary partitions or by being in its own room. Each field has about 80 pits worth of space assigned to it, at the closest location. Each field has stands on both long sides. Each bay also has a “house” lighting truss and screens–but no strobe lights by default. And did I mention: Acoustic panels on the walls. Due to FRC requirements, the ceiling is fairly tall, so it can be used by a wide variety of events.
    During the offseason, this space is an event space: conventions, indoor basketball tournaments, people just need some event halls, you name it. Possible use as a temporary warehouse.
  3. Second floor: FLL, volunteer space, and “exhibition” space (scholarship row, innovation fair, etc.) A few large-ish rooms line one side, while most of the rest of the space is either open area or has temporary walls. One room is a designated quiet room (with a balcony for outside-lovers).
  4. Third floor: FTC, and quiet room/balcony. Pretty much the same as second floor.
  5. Grounds: a combination of open space, picnic tables, parking, and semi/bus parking. Probably a parking garage on one side for non-large-vehicle parking, and a large secured lot for the semis, buses, and trailers on the other. On the shady side of the building, a large open area with some picnic tables and some various open “grassy” areas (and because I’m lazy/cheap, probably fake turf).
  6. Various items in the building: snack stands on all levels, probably a couple of restaurants on the ground floor exterior (money maker, charge 'em rent and allow them to be open whenever), definitely at least two freight elevators going the full height of the building. One loading dock (double wide) to the basement and one to the first floor. Plenty of restrooms, likely to be single-seaters with common wash-up area for a group. Water bottle refill/water fountains all over the place.

Location: Somewhere near a decently-large airport, preferably one that handles international flights.

Or I’d steal the design of the convention center in Munich, Germany.


You’ll notice that I’ve focused a bit on making this work for non-FIRST events. There’s a reason for that: If you can’t maintain the building, you can’t use it. And if you don’t have the money to maintain it, you can’t maintain it. So you gotta make money… and having a steady revenue stream (via the machine shop and restaurants) gets you through the times between conferences/conventions.

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Can we add a thousand hotel rooms and just make this a small city?

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Now why would WE add the hotel rooms when we could own the land the hotels are built on, and invite hotel chains to build on it?

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Whatever let’s me stay walking distance from the venue :smiley:

Indianapolis would be a prime location for this.

They nearly won the selection back when St. Louis came out on top for 2011. Things have changed since then.

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Honestly at this point I would settle with any venue we have ever held it in (except OG Houston for that 1 year) so long as we can bring in sealed bottles of water in any quantity without question.

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and sufficient restaurants.

That dont run out of food for the day at 10am like the first year in St Louis

I’m loving what y’all are saying.
Here’s some thoughts I had.
1.) A stage

  • It would be a good place for speeches and awards.
    -It could be used when hosting other events.
    2.) Foldable walls
    -To be used to hold smaller events or multiple events at once
    3.) Spotlights
    -To add more production value to matches (or at least finals) and for other events
    4.) I’m not sure if this is dependent on the area, but I’d love more and better camera angles of the field.
1 Like

I personally liked how the fields were set up in 2017 as it prevented this issue. You can’t even see the fields next door from most positions in the stands anyway (at least not where I checked). Also There was more space to walk and dance in between matches. I think it would be good to show other fields on screens or have fields be paired.

1 Like