Potential Large Scale Fall Event in Milwaukee

With the cancellation of the FRC season and both Championship events, there is a unique and (hopefully) one-time need for a large-scale offseason event to serve as a culminating experience for the FRC season. To address this, I have been in early talks with others in the Milwaukee area about creating a large scale, multi-division event in a Milwaukee area convention center with the goal of creating as close to a Championship experience as possible.

This event would likely be a 2.5 day event taking place between late August and October of 2020 and the goal would be to keep the registration fee to around $500 per team.

Right now, we are looking for preliminary interest from teams. If you think that your team might be interested in this event, please fill out the attached survey! If you have any questions about this potential event, please reply to this thread and I’ll do my best to answer.

If you think your team might have interest (no commitment), please fill out this survey: https://forms.gle/k7Vg7aoqhzFHYZBS8

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Will you be refunding registration if the event can’t be held? I hate to be a doomer about this, but I think you’ll have a hard time getting people to commit with the possibility that they’ll blow the cost of a new set of drivetrain motors on another event that doesn’t happen.

Edit: If you really want to plan an off-season event around then, maybe look into doing something local with a small (probably less than 15) number of teams? Like Chris said, a Championship-scale event could seriously screw things up.


Please, please, please do not start planning large scale events in 2020. This isn’t a joke, the pandemic won’t disappear by August. Shelter in place may be paused, but unnecessary large gatherings will only accelerate the pandemic’s resurgence.


I’d love to participate in an event, but I am not sure when we could even get back into the school to finish our robot. Unfortunately, we just need to wait and see with this all.

Chris and Bobby, the situation around COVID-19 is very much paramount to the planning of this event. While I can’t give a specific refund policy at this time, I can guarantee that when we ask teams to make a financial commitment to this event, we will have a documented refund policy for event cancellations and individual team cancellations that will be driven by our contracts with the venue and for field rentals.

As far as planning large scale events in 2020, as a mentor, the health and safety of my students and their families will always be our top priority. Based on the recently announced federal re-opening guidelines, it appears that event like this could take place during phase 3 of this plan which allows for non-essential travel and for large venues to operate with limited social distancing (Reference: https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/). We will work with our relevant public health authorities on determining if cancelling or modifying the event is necessary.

At this point, other events (i.e. NCAA, NFL, SummerFest) are moving forward with plans for events of a similar scale. My goal right now is to determine if interest exists in an event like this. We do have a need to be responsible with team finances and the health and safety of our participants and we will move cautiously and deliberately in planning this event which includes being prepared for modifications or cancellations as necessary.

100% interested, but 100% not committing any $ or anything else to any event in 2020 at this time. The odds of gatherings of an FRC regional sized event being allowed this year are slim to none and unless something drastically changes in the VERY near future I don’t hold much hope for 2021 either.


Aside from the registration fee/cancellation policy questions… Please estimate the odds of being able to get any sort of convention center space between now and 2022.

The reason I say that is that first, you’ve got the pretty much mass closures this year. Then you’ve got the events that are left that haven’t canceled (yet), the rescheduled events from early this year including future cancellations, and on top of that, ain’t NOBODY gonna wanna give up any slot they can squeeze in next year.

I wouldn’t mind heading over, BUT it’d need to be 99% certain to happen before I’d even think of booking any travel.


Still have over another month in Wisconsin.

Perhaps I’m a little overly sensitive after we had to vote in Milwaukee a couple of weeks ago and there were protests today, but I think this comes across at hopeful at best and irresponsible at worst. Especially since we devote way too much time to inspire students to respect science, I think we probably should look at the scientists instead of sports/entertainment for guidance on how to proceed.


Because the federal government has totally been really on top of everything with the whole situation and not at all just pushing to get money circulating again.


We may not progress linearly from Phase 1 to Phase 2 to Phase 3. If there is another rapid outbreak, the prudent thing to do would be to retreat to a prior phase and start over. The 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic came in three waves in the US, with the second wave being the worst.


AH yes, those perfectly scientific federal guidelines.


This is a clear-headed answer. I don’t find any fault in a phased approach to resuming activities, as long as the triggers to move between phases are chosen wisely and measured honestly.