These will be the big logistical/budget questions for a lot of teams. They have a huge impact on the lodging cost and on the needed transportation once you are in the Detroit area.
We think the setup in Detroit is somewhat similar to what teams have seen before in St. Louis. An airport several miles from the downtown, but a relatively small number of hotels in the downtown area near the competition venues. Another factor which will affect a lot of teams is that there is no public mass transit from the airport to the downtown area. We think these factors will cause many teams to go for the option of renting a motorcoach or bus to get to/from the airport, to/from a non-downtown hotel, and to/from the competition venue.
Prediction: Motorcoaches and rental vans will be a hot commodity in Michigan in late April 2018.
Prediction: The clusters of hotels at the many nice areas in the near suburbs of Metro Detroit will be verry popular in late April 2018.
Prediction: This .PDF map will come in handy. It shows downtown parking areas, Cobo Center, Ford Field, the GM Renaissance Center, and the People Mover route. NOTE: Cobo Center entrance is shown but not labeled on this map – look for People Mover Cobo Center Station, which is labeled 11 on the map. Our suggestion is to give everyone on your team this map, write COBO near station 11, and use it to plan where and when to meet. Note: this map does not yet have the QLine on it.
We know that sometime later in the year, FIRST will release the Championship housing information for 2018. For reference, here is what they said for the 2017 (not 2018) season about housing: FIRST blog from December 2016.
Below is a list of possible hotel areas that might be good choices for teams. These are where we would think of staying. Each of these areas offers multiple good hotels, good amenities in the immediate area, and good access to routes to downtown (or in the case of downtown, walking distance to the venues). We will have more details on all of these in upcoming posts.
Livonia: I-275 & 6 Mile Rd (24 miles from Cobo Center)
Livonia: I-275 & 7 Mile Rd (25 miles from Cobo Center)
Northville: I-275 & 8 Mile Rd (26 miles from Cobo Center)
Downtown (walking distance to Cobo Center)
Dearborn (12 miles from Cobo Center)
Livonia: I-96 Exit 177 (17 miles from Cobo Center)
Canton: I-275 & Ford Rd (28 miles from Cobo Center)
Novi: I-96 Exit #162 (32 miles from Cobo Center)
Wixom: I-96 Exit #159 (35 miles from Cobo Center)
Farmington Hills: I-696 & I-275 intersection area (29 miles from Cobo Center)
Southfield: I-696 & M10 freeway (20 miles from Cobo Center)
Belleville: I-94 Exit #190 (28 miles from Cobo Center)
Farmington: Grand River & 10Mile Rd (28 miles from Cobo Center)
Roseville (East Side): I-94 Exit #232 (20 miles from Cobo Center)
Warren: 12Mile Rd & Van Dyke (19 miles from Cobo Center)
Windsor, Canada: downtown Windsor (4 km from Cobo Center, but … in a different country!)
Madison Heights: I-75 Exit 65 (17 miles from Cobo Center)
Troy: I-75 Exit 69 (21 miles from Cobo Center)
Auburn Hills: I-75 Exits #78 and #79 (30 miles from Cobo Center)
We are not suggesting that these are the only choices. Certainly there are more choices. We are just trying to identify areas that we think will be complementary to the Detroit FIRST experience for teams.