FIRST Championship Updates: 2025 & Beyond

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This is INSANE. we could not have afforded our last 2 trips to Houston if this had been true at the time

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This is so tone-deaf, I don’t even know what else to say.

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Wow.

Happy Pride Month everyone ig.

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Hi FIRST, I point farm specific hotel chains so that our trips are cheaper… forcing me to book through your system means my hotel costs will double….

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Disappointed that FIRST couldn’t or wouldn’t find a different championship host city that is in a state that doesn’t criminalize the existence of trans people and trans youth.

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33 would not have been able to make it to champs this year had this been the case. Absolutely disgusting move, especially with the state of the economy.

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I notice that champs is moved to the end of April in 2026 and 2027. Could this mean that there’ll be another level of competition in between regionals and champs?

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Securing hotels is the worst part of champs. And the company they’ve been working with (Conference Direct) is the WORST. They are completely unable to handle the job. The last two years they bungled everyone’s credit cards and it took us weeks to work with the hotels to get things fixed. The manager I was working with at the hotel to get it fixed swore they would not use Conference Direct again and would only be working directly with teams in the future because that would be far easier than fixing the mess.

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Terrible housing updates aside, it also seems champs will now be a “Week 10” event (compared to Week 8 previously). That’s going to start running up against AP exams, although it does present an interesting opportunity for more levels of competition.

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Not even talking about cost, haven’t these blocks mostly filled up by the time most teams even know if they are qualifying?

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maybe dcmp’s are week 7-8 and we get 6 weeks of district events?

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Or this would allow for super regionals

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“will be required to book their lodging accommodations within those designated hotel blocks” - we did that this year, then (second-hand info from the person who actually booked) the company bungled a bunch of reservations and dropped teams and we had to book our own hotel anyway last minute.

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What about us poor folks in regionals :pleading_face:

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we are evaluating several potential adjustments to our advancement protocols. The methods used will vary by program and location, and may include new invitational-style competitions

Super Regionals?

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FIRST’s continued lack of support for the queer community, including now actively extending the contract with a city in a state that aims to criminalize every aspect of caring for trans youth, makes participating in this program in any way morally untenable for me. Last year I tried to rationalize some light local participation by just not attending the Championship, thinking, oh maybe they’re just stuck there another year, I should give them some slack. I’m tired of going to bat for an organization that doesn’t care what happens to queer students or the adults caring for them.

The hotel thing is breathtaking as well. In addition to being prohibitively expensive, FIRST’s hotel booking systems are notoriously unreliable, often changing or cancelling orders far too late for teams to adjust. This does not benefit FIRST participants in any way.

The optics couldn’t be more clear: this organization does not care about these things. I can’t defend them anymore.

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Teams:

“We want a different championship city, and a more equitable housing scheme”

FIRST:

“We’ll give you the same championship city with a much worse housing scheme”

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Yep. :upside_down_face:

FIRST HQ made $654,569 from hotel reservations in 2023 per their 990, it’ll be interesting to see how much more that is after this change.

My team has never used the HQ hotel blocks in years we’ve qualified for Champs, we tried and could not last year due to school system restrictions. I have no idea what we’ll do if we qualify going forwards. Decline champs maybe?

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But how else can kickbacks happen on hotel accommodations? /s

Not actually saying they do get a kickback, but I could see it as a potential And what happens if say another taylor swift tour comes through and nabs up all the hotels in the area before FIRST teams can? Or what if a school needs to approve the hotels and have some problems with some, which limits their options?

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