What did we miss?

Hope you had a great time at the 2018 Detroit Championships!

Quick update, some initial train-of-thought items….



There was a killing in Detroit.  The killers were FIRST and the City of Detroit.  The victims were our appetites for good food!   They fed us like the champions we are!  Thanks for doing such a great job!  Best lunch venue in FRC history with lots of choices, staged lunches, little waiting, flexible rules, and an exotic view on the riverfront (we’re looking at you Canada)!



Wish we had known there would be complaints about bathrooms.  Pro tip:  Use the bathrooms that are meant for the general public, not the ones that are there for the workers.  We suspect that many of the bathroom complaints came from people who dont like to stray from the pits.  Our suggestion would have been to walk out of the main hall, cross the walkway to the east side of the big atrium area, and walk into the palatial (seriously, they are nice, and big) restrooms.  We visited a number of times, and they were never crowded.  The walk was not that long.  Hope this relieves some people’s concerns next year.


Load-In and Load-Out

Wow was it clogged.  One way in, and one way out.  Every third vehicle was a motorcoach which spent a long time parking, opening up the cargo bay, rearranging stuff underneath, loading/unloading, rearranging more stuff, closing things up, getting people on and off the bus, and then moving slowly on its way.  Our advice:  dont let the motorcoaches in the back door!  They are not load-in / load-out friendly.  They should use the front door, and each of the 40 people riding the bus can take an item out of the bay and carry it.  The teams who had a truck+trailer were much quicker at loading and unloading.  Hopefully next year there will be some better thought and guidance for motorcoach teams vs. truck & trailer teams vs. the dreaded motorcoach & trailer teams.


We will update more!  Thank you for reading!



Governor Rick Snyder Loves FIRST!

Today on the radio they had an interview with Michigan’s Governor.  He talked about how FIRST is a great program for connecting students with mentors, and with companies who need STEM professionals.

We think his support will help make the 2018 FIRST Championship in Detroit great!

[edit June 2]  You can find audio of his keynote speech at the 2017 Mackinac policy conference in a podcast at this link.  Scroll to Thursday June 1st 2017 and you will find it.  In this speech, starting at about the 6 minute mark, he weaves FIRST into a broader picture that will make you proud.



Hey Houston & Manchester: check this out!

Hey guys, we just heard that in mid-July (yes that is in the middle of baseball season in a town that really cares about baseball) there is going to be a soccer match at Comerica Park.  And we are pretty sure that a soccer field is bigger than an FRC field.  Yet they are gonna make it work for soccer at CoPa.  Not sure how.  But perhaps you guys should check out what they are doing.

We heard on the radio today that yes, they will be removing the pitcher’s mound bump for the soccer match, and then replacing it afterwards.  Talk about a can-do attitude!  🙂

Houston, we don’t know if you are going back to the baseball field for Champs – it was a tough deal.  But, if you are, and if the ‘stros suggest that you cant touch a single blade of grass, we suggest you call “hogwash” and show them a time-lapse video of whatever the Tigers are gonnna do at Comerica Park this July.  And maybe bring in some awesome grounds crew attitude from the Motor City.

Go Tigers!


image of the view from Comerica Park, from AndrewClem.com, which is a very cool website about MLB stadiums “Clem’s Baseball – Our National Pastime & It’s Green Cathedrals”


Article from Crain’s Detroit

Article from DetroitSportsNation

YouTube video of the soccer field



If we were the organizers of the Detroit Champs …

Just brainstorming here…

We would suggest that feeding all of the participants at lunchtime is going to be a challenge.  Need some creative solutions here…. how about organizing deliveries from restaurants and food providers in the Detroit area?  Or maybe a fleet of food trucks along Jefferson Avenue?  FIRST, you need to be careful to give teams enough time to get their lunch if you expect them to walk somewhere…

We would ask GM to give us tours of the Chevy Volt/Bolt plant in Hamtramck

We would ask GM to have a big party in their wintergarden at the RenCen.  Maybe keep the food court open in the evening to be available to teams.

We would suggest that Ford host a team party or some large event at Greenfield Village or at The Henry Ford.  We would ask them to do something special at the IMAX theatre there, just for us FIRSTers.  How about a screening of Spare Parts, and invite Fredi Lajvardi, Marisa Tomei, and Jamie Lee Curtis to host the movie?

We would suggest that the organizers get some big name music people to perform at the Fox Theater during Championship week.  Imagine having a big name act at the Fox each night.

We would ask GM to give tours of the Milford Proving Ground.  Would it be too much to ask for free Camaros for the gearheads, and free Volts or Bolts for the tree-huggers?

We would suggest that FIRST get some nautical organization (Coast Guard or Navy?) to moor a huge cool boat on the riverfront, and give tours.

We would suggest that FIRST and the State of Michigan do something cool in the waterfront state park that is walking distance from the RenCen.  Kid Rock concert would be a good choice, maybe?

We would suggest that FIRSTers fill Comerica Park with baseball fans, let Cy-ber Young throw out the FIRST pitch (get it?), and then enjoy baseball and fireworks on a cool April night (bring your jackets and hats).

We would ask Supernatural Brewing & Spirits to have a DS&TKB appearance at their place.

We would figure out how to best use the new Q-line light rail system to help the FIRST event (free rides for students with credentials?  only stop at the FIRST event stops for the three days?  make a “robot parade” transport cart to move the teams to Einstein?

We would recognize the massive challenge of getting teams from Cobo to Ford Field for Einstein is gonna be trouble, and will need some major logistics focus.  Who walks, what gets a ride, where will the flow of people go, how to handle security, what if it rains, what if it SNOWS,  You can do it! BUT you need to give us a tested, optimized, well-thought-out process.  Ask for help from the community! If you wing it and it sucks, we will kill and eat you.  🙂