[FRC Blog] Window Shopping for FIRST Championship Housing

Written by Frank Merrick.


Championship Housing FIRST Robotics Competition Crammed in a Phone Booth

Championship housing will not be like this. Also, even if you can find a phone booth these days, don’t try this, very dangerous.

EDIT: As of 3:45pm, 11/20/17, some of the information on the hotels at both Houston and Detroit is incorrect. While the hotels themselves are correct, both locations are showing distances to incorrect locations for their respective cities. We are working on the problem now, and we hope to have it fixed as soon as possible. We apologize for the confusion.

Thinking about attending FIRST Championship and wonder what housing will be available? We have some answers!

As you are likely aware, teams are assigned to a Championship location based on this map. Be sure to look on the second page for the 2018 map. Remember it’s the location of your team, not the event at which you may have earned your way to Championship, that matters. You will only be able to sign up for housing at the Championship to which you have been assigned based on your team location.

You can preview what housing will be available through the links below.



A few quick notes on these lists:

  • PNW FRC teams have their own drop-down menu item as they are participating in a pilot housing program explained here.
  • Non-US teams also have their own drop-down menus. Non-US teams face many more challenges when it comes to traveling to our championship locations than US teams. In order to help with these challenges in a small way, a relatively small number of rooms are reserved close by the event venues to help alleviate this. The hotels available to both US and non-US teams are the same, though Non-US teams get first dibs on a relatively small number of rooms in a few of those hotels. This practice has been in place for a few years and has helped address the issue.

Housing registration will open on December 4th for pre-qualified teams and December 7th for non-prequalified teams. You are a pre-qualified team if you are on this list in the ‘Pre-Qualifying Teams’ section at the top of the page. More details on housing opening will be provided later!


A few things I found interesting.

Availability is based on arriving on Wednesday and leaving on Friday in Houston or Saturday in Detroit. I expect at least Houston to change.

Does the December 7th date effect anyone? I don’t think any non-pre-qualified FRC teams will have qualified by then. Has FTC/FLL/JFLL qualified any teams yet?

Is it just me or does it seem like the number of hotels posted in Detroit, especially within 3 miles of the venue are pretty limited compared to STL?

Haven’t looked at it, but if it makes you feel any better, last year when I logged on to the site an hour after it opened (because the site wasn’t open at the time they said it would) for Houston all that we could get was 8 miles out.

It sure would be nice to get a little more information about what’s going on at the detroit venue. Should we be planning on a long walk from cobo to ford field on detroit sidewalks? Should we be reengineering our pit with the plan of not being able to talk anything with us? There’s too many unanswered questions for teams right now and a lot of logistics that go on at our end too…

Is it just me, or are the hotel options for Houston extremely underwhelming? I only see two available within half a mile of the venue, whereas a check of Google Maps shows at least 10 within that radius but none of them have any availability during that time. What is the point of having Experient reserve all the hotel capacity if it isn’t made available to teams?

Not just you…

Volunteer housing, I’m guessing.

Isn’t champs housing for non-prequalified teams supposed to be open like… now?
I’ve been trying to figure it out since 12pm.

It all looks the same as during “window shopping” time with no option to actually reserve rooms.

edit: were pre qualified teams able to block rooms on the 4th?

It sounds like you might be stuck where I got stuck. The “window shopping” link won’t work for registration,
and there’s no clear path from the window shopping experience to the actual registration experience.
Here are the correct links:
Detroit link, Houston link

Wow, thanks for sharing that.

That’s extremely frustrating. Was this link shared somewhere beforehand and I just missed it? The first I saw of it was when you shared it and now I just saw it in an email blast which was sent at 12:31pm.

Not walking to the event this year…

I actually send an email to try to clarify where the hell the correct link was and after 5 emails they still haven’t addressed my questions. It’s getting harder to articulate exactly what is screwed up with this system, but there is still plenty. Also, why you have to specify a number of rooms before searching is beyond me.

From what I can tell the Window Shopping was pretty misleading. I am guessing that the pre-qualified teams that registered yesterday managed to sell out at least one of the hotels. I was able to get into the system nice and fast but our preferred hotel was mysteriously missing. After dropping my requested number of rooms down to 1, I found it. It looks like they only had that 1 room left to offer right when the system opened.

Not that I know of, but I could be wrong. I thought that when I went to the main FIRST championship website before it only had links to the window shopping. That’s how I found the link this time (Detroit > Hotels & Badging > Team registration is now open link).

I had also assumed that the window shopping website would just open up for registration like FIRST Choice.

The link was in the Blog posted on Dec. 5th. Kind of hidden unless you have been watching the published info like a hawk.

Completely missed that. Saw behind the lines and safety animation and breezed right over it. Thanks