Whacky Einstein Layout Proposal

Our team had probably the worst seats possible for Einstein this year. We couldn’t see any action other than the blue ball flying through the high goal and maybe the tops of the taller robots. We couldn’t see much of the big screen behind the field either.

I was looking at the way the field was set up and noticed something. All of the best sight-lines are at the side of the field (duh), yet we only had spectators on one side of the field (other than about 50 people sitting in the small bleachers on the far side of the field). Then I thought about having an extra 200 teams next year and how there would be a LOT of people not actually able to watch Einstein.

That got me thinking: how could you get people close to the field on BOTH sides and increase the number of people that got a good view. Then I had a thought: Move the field to a corner of the dome floor and put it right up against the stands with the long-side of the field sticking out toward the center of the dome floor.

I attached some pictures, with the limits of the good sight lines drawn on in red. The attachment on the left is the current setup, and the attachment on the right is the proposed setup.

If the field is pushed up against where the tunnel is, half of the seats in that area don’t exist anyway since the tunnel is there. Therefore, you don’t lose much seating there, but you gain a lot of good seats since you still have the good seats in the end zone, but you also gain most of the sideline seats.

I’m thinking that the presentation stage could be put behind the alliance wall that points toward the center of the dome.

Anyway, it’s a thought.

This is an interesting idea. I do think that inviting more teams next year requires us to rethink the Einstein layout, but I don’t know if this is the best way to do it. Knowing that FRC will be the only event their and that there will probably at least 6 fields (possibly 8) not including Einstein, I think your layout is a little bit constricting on the other field’s space. Personally, I think the best way to solve the problem is to have a rapid teardown crew that will take the fields down that are along the length of the arena and set up Einstein in the center of the whole arena. This way people can see the field on both sides of the arena and there is not an awkwardly faced field that doesn’t fit in. The problem with putting it in the center is that there is no ideal place to put the presentation wall.

Unfortunately I might have a little insight into Einstein’s placement that you might not know about. Both the Boeing VIP Hospitality lounge and the Media Lounge are facing direct center of where Einstein currently sits. I was under the impression that is the main reason for it’s current location, though I am puzzled by it considering there are box lounges all around the arena on Level 3. However, it did make sense that they put it where it is because of it’s proximity to the main entrance that we use.

You have to think that FIRST give’s some priority to where it places the Einstein field so that the sponsors and potential new ones get good/perfect viewing of the event. Is this a un-fixable problem? Nope. They’d just have to make the walk a little longer for the VIP’s to re-orient the fields.


This is something that has been addressed almost every year we have been in St. Louis, see above post from last year.
There are boxes all over the 3rd level but the only ‘club’ area is in the end-zone. All the other boxes are smaller and most likely owned be private companies not the Edward Jones Dome, so yes I would consider this an unfix-able problem.
Although the location suggested by Chris could still work if the stage was placed on the VIP club side of the field.

Decisions on where to place one field cannot be made in a vacuum. Where would you place 4-8 other fields? You cannot expect these fields to be taken down in time as there is only an hour between the end of divisions and start of Einstein. Sure some fields get done earlier, but you will never know which one it will be.
I do like the idea of expanding the ‘good’ viewing areas

I do think that the seating for the Einstein field needs to change. But we also need to remember that the whole stadium is just for FRC next year, therefore, there will not be FTC nor FLL on the Einstein field for their own competitions. This will mean that FIRST will have to have the Einstein field untouched, taking away seating options that can be used for another division, seats that were once used for FLL spectators. If FIRST decides to change the position of the fields, they need to make sure it doesn’t waste seating during the rest of the competition.

There are suites all over the 300 level, but the Clarkson Jewelers Club is in the south end zone. It’s basically a giant suite for all of the VIPs.

And I though we had the worst seats on Einstein! Small things would have made a difference to us. The first was to remove the half circle of decorative flags over the speakers area. Not only were we too far away to really see the field, but we couldn’t see the video screen. The second would have been to broadcast everything on the second opposite screen. When it was on, it was very helpful in letting us know what was going on.

I am aware of this. I was in it several times this year as I was an invited guest through my University.

I just was not sure if the other boxes were the same size as the one that they currently have the VIP suite in.

They are not. The ones you’re referring to are private, lockable rooms designed for parties of about 10-15 people. FIRST uses them as quiet areas for meetings, media interviews, etc. As an example, my family met with the three Bart Kamen Memorial Scholarship winners in one of those boxes last year since it was a good place to be quiet and on our own.

The only place it makes sense to put VIP is the Clarkson Jewelers Club, as there’s plenty of seating both inside the lounge and with views of the field - and it is easily accessible by arena ramp, escalator, and elevators.

One potential problem with your proposed layout is that everyone would have to either sit sideways in their seat or turn their neck the entire time.

In the two years I have gone, I have been frustrated by an inability to actually see anything useful from where I was sitting. I like the energy of being packed in, but I certainly didn’t get much of anything out of the view I had. It has been one of the more disappointing aspects of the competition for me.

I’d like to see the main screen video shown also on Archimedes or Curie, or ideally have two additional screens that are angled to the corners of the end zone. That way, sitting on the side has some modest utility and helps maintain the energy and the sense of community. I have pretty much given up on being able to see anything useful on the field or stage itself anyway.

4th level views during Einstein absolutely sucked…couldn’t see the scores as the view of the bottom half of the main screen was blocked by the light truss over the field:( The point is, wherever (if ever moved) it would be nice to consider the impact placement has on the poor folks up in the nose bleeds…

Why does Einstein have to be untouched? Is this a tradition that can be dispensed with?

I mean, wasn’t the finals field rotated through by each division back when world was at Epcot?

The matches were suspenseful, even from the 400+ section. I could see the robots and nicely watch the matches. The view to the giant screen was obstructed by lighting equipment. The closing ceremonies were hard to see because of the lighting equipment and the flag decoration. I propose moving the lighting up as a FIRST step toward making a more enjoyable experience. All of the paper airplanes were no obstruction when compared to the “sky truss” blocking our views.

At events, the Field Crew is instructed to use new and untouched game pieces whenever possible during the finals matches. This is to help simulate a ‘perfect game state’ and limit any variance between alliances for the most critical matches. While highly used game pieces won’t affect game in a drastic way, its good peace of mind to the players that they are using fresh game pieces that will optimize their designed systems.

In the same way, Einstein Field is unused so teams have a fresh carpet, clean plexiglass, and unbroken field tape that perfectly simulates the field as described in the game manual. It makes sense for the championship matches to be played on the most optimized field as possible so all that determines the outcome is the robots and their teams.

Can this tradition be dispensed with? Possibly, but that’s a question for those who are not me to answer.

I think it would be cool if there were some sort of infield - like you see at race tracks - with bleacher seating. Perhaps the sixteen teams competing on Einstein could be invited to sit there.

I definitely remember our team playing one or two qualification matches on the Einstein stage in 2001 (the first year of divisions). I believe the setup was the one field on the Einstein stage, and three others in the tents. Each division played a set number of their matches Einstein field, and the rest were played on one of the other fields. I don’t remember this happening in 2002, but I could be wrong.

It also means that the general wear and tear that is visible on fields isn’t present and as such looks more pristine. This looks better in photos.

Also not for nothing, it’s also part of the honor of getting to this point, getting to say you played on a brand new pristine field. These are the most watched matches of the season, so not only do you want the field being pristine for playing purposes, you want it to look good in terms of showmanship. (Some year’s a new field vs. old field was pretty obvious, even from a distance).

Edit: Andrew beat me to it.

Edit 2: The other thing to note is that the field used for Einstein’s main reason for existing is it serves as the back-up field for the rest of the year. It’s on stand-by for the rare case something happens to one of the fields (i.e. a truck get’s into an accident during transit) so this way the events still can continue on. FIRST won’t be getting rid of that any time soon, so if we have to have a field that more then likely won’t be used all season, I see no reason to not use it for Einstein.