I dont know about this new venue but I’ve been to the Houston Regional in early 2010s in the same GRB that housed CMP this year and it used to take place on the 3rd floor so its very possible to load robots/pits/fields onto an upper floor of a convention center. You have to assume that a convention center has means to transport materials to the upper floors for many different events that have large equipment/lighting/speakers, etc.
I don’t think anyone is arguing that it is impossible. But transporting 50ish teams in a timely manner up the elevators is a far cry from 450.
Usually for those larger events, it’s one coordinated show, not 450 individual teams with individual box trailers. I’m sure it can be done, but I can’t think of a similar event to compare a FIRST championship to. The question is if it’s worth the challenge and if the venue is even willing to entertain the concept
Why not instead of just stealing only Super Regionals from FTC, we steal the whole book and have kickoff in September, and let comp start 3 months earlier. The floor would be raised so teams who can’t meet often still have enough time to build something functional. The ceiling would also be raised because top teams can combat burnout with less intense programs while increasing the amount of time available to test and iterate on systems.
There’s the added benefit of making FRC make more sense in the context of being a classroom activity. Teachers could properly teach an FRC “class”
The majority of the mentor collective would balk at this.
Imo a big part of FRC is the time constraint, the challenge of working under pressure to build what in the beginning seems impossible, I wouldn’t like to see that gone.
This would also severely limites the off season activities that teams engage in and that were so beneficial along this years.
The support is growing:
my solemn vow: if this ever happens i’ll find a way to quit again. i am only so much of a sicko.
My team attended the 2018 Houston championship. We were awarded a wildcard at Rocket City. With the 2022 rules we wouldn’t have made it.
The event was fantastic. It felt like a World Championship.
But, I’m biased.
Unfortunately, once the paradigm shift went from a 6 week build challenge to No Bag, I wouldn’t be surprised if more changes are coming in the near future.
FRC used to be a seasonal thing. Programs now operate year round for both technical and non-technical initiatives.
Not saying I agree with it, but with teams wanting to play more in general and complaining that their state champs is too close to frc champs, what’s gonna give?
I think a lot of teams would be more comfortable making travel arrangements under a point system given that they would have a much higher assurance of going. Often you can assess reasonably if you’ll make the semis or finals at an event, but at Regionals, that’s no guarantee of making it. Even this year at 1678, we could see a very reasonable scenario where we might not qualify at all for Champs because of the quality of teams at our events.
Don’t forget that at district champs points are tripled. We were ranked tenth in points going into the event. We needed to make the finals to go to worlds. We did and were left scrambling to get to Houston. (Part of it was we did a poor job of planning for worlds in the first place). A point system gives us an idea but we did not feel secure due to the high number of points earned at champs.
Hi friends, for those who don’t know me. I actually work at the Wintrust arena at McCormick.
To unofficially answer a few (easy) questions.
- All halls except west upper floor have easy access for robot load in via loading docks and doors (ah the glory of being a convention center). We also have a whole parking lot that’s used for loading staging
- The Arie Crown theater is huge and kinda connected to North and South Hall.
- Lakeside center is basically useless for this event
- North and south halls share a floor and are separated by a non-carpeted concourse. They should be big enough to hold everything. If you want to visit, I suggest attending IMTS on a educational badge. It’s a neat manufacturing show in September.
- Wintrust is big enough for a regional but not FRC at worlds, though it can hold FTC or FLL. (If you ever come to an event there let me know, I’ll take you on a tour)
- Literally everything is expensive and union. Although, I’d love to get paid for doing FIRST.
- Three hotel buildings are physically connected by walkways (Marriott, Hyatt, and a Hilton trio in one hotel).
- There are THREE Starbucks.
I certainly believe the value of having hundreds of more teams (at each level) inspired by the event outweighs the value of meeting teams from every part of the world and crowning 4 teams instead of 8 world champions…
That said, with 2 champs I would love to see an exchange/crossover, a swap of which champs the international teams and the non obvious regional and districts attend. And potentially a crossover program, like a Detroit champs team can say, we want to go to Texas, and when someone accepts, they are registered for the other champs.
That would be cool, like an exchange team program.
As much as I dislike Starbucks’ coffee, the idea of having more than two coffee vendors inside the venue sells it for me. That was brutal in Houston.
There are also two “food courts”, multiple vendors, and a large amount of Uber eats places that will deliver to the venue.
As a warning, we have the same security vendor as GRB with the added fun of CPD.
The Arena/Stadium feel of St. Louis is what I miss most about the current venues, the current seating arrangement is not ideal. I was also much easier to watch multiple fields because you could get a little further away. The difficulty is the number of centrally located venues with an attached area that can house pits are few and far between. McCormick is huge, and could be cool, its just not the same as a true stadium.
Is it possible to have a full-capacity one-championship for FRC? Is there any venue available? I feel like that would be incredible for everybody.
I think that the BCEC in Boston might be a great option as well. With its central location in South Boston, and a direct (albeit nearby) Silver Line connection, it has more than enough Exhibition Hall space and meeting room space for a FIRST Championship and related FTC and FLL champs.
While it is less central for those in the US, I think it is more central for those who are in Europe, and there are certainly more Flights going into Boston/the Boston Area (Think Worcester Airport/Providence Airport).