Just heard some exciting news from very reputable sources that RPI (New York) will be hosting an FIRST FRC Regional next year. This is great news for all the capital region teams. Look forward to not having to drive 3 hours to an event.
I assume this is the rumored Albany Regional I heard about from a couple other teams in your area when talking about the New England Districts. It looks like FIRST’s way of compensating for the capital region teams not being able to join New England. Must feel good to have a local regional now though.
This is exactly why there’s such a strong push for this regional. Without this regional, Albany region teams would have lost their four closest events. Finger Lakes is several hours from here, and regionals farther than Finger Lakes aren’t logistically possible for most of us.
I am extremely excited that I live within 2 blocks of the three possible venues. I haven’t heard if it will take place in the Houston Field House (RPI’s hockey arena, think a BAE style layout), ECAV (RPI’s basketball court, think like WPI), or the Armory (older athletic center, would be more like Connecticut). Either way, RPI should be an excellent venue for a FIRST event - just off the road from multiple major highways, plenty of parking, reasonably sized venues, a few nearby hotels, and you don’t even have to drive in downtown Troy to get there.
Hopefully with the venue being announced as at RPI, students (like myself) will take an active role in planning and volunteering. There are a fair number of FIRST alums at RPI, but not a lot of them are active with teams. This regional would be a great way to help out and stay involved without destroying your GPA.
This also opens up a closer regional for some northern MAR teams(closer than the closest southern regionals; only regionals this close (and north of MAR) are CT and NYC). It also provides a good, closer in-state option for NYC teams.
Awesome to hear that my alma mater is pushing to run a Regional on their grounds! The Houston Field House would be a perfect venue for this. I actually haven’t seen the new football field/ECAV (built the year after I graduated) – does it really have enough indoor space to host a competition?
I don’t think the Armory would be a suitable place, not large enough and its logistically difficult with the multiple floors and surrounding parking availability
Hoping to come back for my 5 year reunion this fall to see ECAV.
Anyway, I got to reunite with Larry Ruff at Championship, who was a Woody Flowers Award winner this past year (finally) and has done a ton to promote FRC. He still runs the manufacturing lab at the school, and I was a student in his Engineering Design class where our design role was to mentor the local Albany High School FRC team.
Prof Paul Schoch is also a big advocate, and also attended Championship as a judge this year.
Anyway, keep me up to date with this news.
It would be an awesome chance for FIRST alums at RPI to get a chance to help out and volunteer at the regional! There currently isn’t a huge FIRST program at RPI and this would be a great way to get it going again.
The armory would be a bit small, but would probably still work. Will probably be a bit tight like the WPI regional. ECAV would really be the best option as it is a huge facility with a decent amount of nearby parking. The Houston field house would work as well.
Honestly, if they are looking for a location for a regional in the capital region, RPI is a great campus for it. It would also be a chance for students to look at a great potential option for college. (Gotta rep my school )
Just to be clear, I don’t have any knowledge about the venue choice. I was just speculating. That said, fitting a regional in the Armory would be quite the squeeze and probably not work out too well. HFH is a great choice as long as there isn’t hockey that weekend.
Took long enough :P.
It’s gonna be great that we can finally get a FIRST event hosted at RPI. Celebrating science and engineering is something people here can appreciate so it just makes sense to bring a Regional to RPI.
While the FRC program isn’t extensive at RPI currently, I have lots of classmates who are alumni of FIRST teams or think this robot thing I do is really cool (or at least they pretend when I’m passionately explaining to them what’s going on throughout the season), so I’m sure we will find plenty of support among the students. And there are a few RPI students like myself who mentor teams, but it is definitely not the norm.
Well this is gonna be awesome!
Nice to finally have an event where travel time is less than three hours!
Hopefully this will raise interest in the community and support the growth of FRC in more of our local schools.
Looking forward to it!
Depending on what date the event is and FLR date is it would make a nice second regional for teams in Western New York!
I wouldn’t be surprised to see these events in back to back weeks. Last I heard FLR was switching to week 3 because RIT is changing its spring break week and RPI’s spring break is week 2.
While this regional is great news for Capital District teams, not being able to compete in 2 districts in NE is still a nuisance for us budget wise.
I was thinking the same thing! It gives Western NY teams another nice regional to consider attending. Also, are the X-Cats thinking about attending multiple regionals next year?
We’d love to but as of right now we don’t have enough money to go to the championsips so we need to get busy raising a whole lotta money.
Some details from a recent e-mail blast:
- Show Ready says that RPI’s ECAV as well as Robinson Gym (the Armory) are suitable venues for a 40 team max event. In addition, nearby Hudson Valley CC is also a suitable venue. Exact location should be decided soon.
- The regional is currently named the Tech Valley Regional
. - The event is expected to host 35-40 teams. With about a dozen local teams, there is PLENTY of room for Western NY, MAR, and NE FIRST teams.
I haven’t heard anything official about this but I believe every attempt is being made to ensure this regional does not fall on the same week as Finger Lakes. As it is the only “local” “option” for Albany area teams, it’s all but certain that many of us will attend it next year. So we end up on the road for about the same number of hours next year - it’s just that they are all at once and we probably can’t get away with leaving for a regional on Thursday morning anymore.
From this document (just a google search), RIT’s 2014 Spring Break is March 24-28, which actually makes it a week 4 or week 5 event. If I remember right, they traditionally go at the end of spring break so that they can do the traditional Thurs/Fri/Sat event… which could make it a week 5 event. Quite a change from their traditional Week 1/2 event!
Hoping to make it out to check out the Albany Regional, but it’s definitely going to depend on NE’s final District Event schedule… Glad to see some momentum towards an Albany event!
RIT is switching from a quarter system to semester, so the later spring break is likely to stay.
Please post when you know the date. The New England teams are moving to the district model next year but depending on dates some might be interested in still traveling to a Regional…who knows
How about our friends to the north? They’re certainly welcome as well!
Just curious, what email blast did this come from? I would hate to go to a regional at the Armory or ECAV. ECAV would be much more crowded than WPI and the Armory seating would be terrible, parkin will stink (and it leaks in bad weather). The HFH would have pit space but not much seating, it is half the size of the Verizon center and had 2500 less seats than the Agganis arena. The only place in the capital region I would think could host a good regional would be the TUC (Pepsi Arena? I don’t know what it is called anymore)
ECAV would definitely outclass WPI for seating from 2010-2012. Parking for ECAV is the same as HFH. The Verizon Center uses like 1/5th of its seats at best for GSR. TUC would be nice, but it is a tough venue to book. Also folks haven’t mentioned the Glens Falls Civic Center, but that is a reasonable size venue for an FRC event and about an hour north of Albany.
Regardless, the venues as discussed in this thread are the ones that are seriously being considered as far as I know. Hopefully we will have more details to share in the near future.