FIRSTis pleased to announce exciting updates to the 2015 FIRST Championship expansion plan. Throughout the last 25 years, FIRST has continuously evolved and we’re grateful that many of you have supported us from the very beginning of this journey. In 1995, the inaugural FIRST Championship event was held at Epcot in Walt Disney World with just 48 teams. Since then, the FIRST Community has grown significantly. Each year, the FIRST Championship event gets bigger and bigger – in 2014, more than 640 FIRST teams participated in this annual Sport for the Mind™ showdown!
Currently, St. Louis, Mo. – our gracious host city for FIRST Championship through 2017 – is one of few cities in the United States that can accommodate the sheer size of the FIRST Championship event in its current format. FIRST has grown so much, we have elected to extend activities beyond the Edward Jones Dome and America’s Center for the 2015 FIRST Championship and add two new venues: Renaissance Grand Hotel and Union Station.
1.27 miles from Edward Jones Dome/America’s Center
Transportation options include: FIRST Shuttle Buses, St. Louis Public Transit, FIRST Walking Paths (more details TBA)
Union Station (est. 1894), once the largest and busiest passenger rail terminals in the world, is now one of America’s great marketplaces boasting several restaurants, a mall with a food court, and more than 500 hotel rooms.
As a 2015 FIRST Championship venue, Union Station will be ‘home base’ for 60 Junior FIRST LEGO League and 128 FIRST Tech Challenge teams.
FTC Pits will be located in the Midway. In its heyday in the mid 1940’s, the Midway was the spot where hundreds of thousands of passengers traversed on their way to or from a train each day.
FTC Fields will be located in the Grand Ballroom, a relatively new addition to the Double Tree Hotel by Hilton (housed within Union Station).
The Jr.FLL World Festival Expo will be in the Regency Ballroom, located across the hall from the Grand Ballroom.
All FIRST Championship attendees are encouraged to visit Union Station to take in the FTC action, see what the Jr.FLL students came up with during the THINK TANK™ season, and be awe-stricken by the beauty of the Grand Hall.
Across the street from the Edward Jones Dome/America’s Center
The Renaissance Grand Hotel is located across the street from the Edward Jones Dome/America’s Center.
As a new venue for the 2015 FIRST Championship, the Renaissance Grand Hotel will house a hands-on, Maker Faire-inspired exhibit featuring FIRST Sponsors, Suppliers, and other Special Guests.
All FIRST Championship attendees are encouraged to visit the Renaissance Grand Hotel to receive exciting giveaways, witness new technology demonstrations, and participate in fun, hands-on activities for all ages.
America’s Center has been home to the FIRST Championship for the past four years. The convention center is located in downtown St. Louis and is situated next to the Edward Jones Dome, the home of the St. Louis Rams.
America’s Center will be ‘home base’ for:
FIRST LEGO League – roughly 100 teams; Pits and Fields in close proximity
The Edward Jones Dome has housed thrilling FIRST competition for the past four years, and seats more than 70,000 people.
For 2015, the Edward Jones Dome will continue to house the largest Championship events – the FIRST Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
FRC Fields will remain in the Edward Jones Dome.
As a result of significant growth across all FIRST Programs, the FIRST Championship event must be expanded to accommodate additional participants, Sponsors, Volunteers, Invited Guests, and all other attendees.
FIRST needed to extend activities to new venues in order to safely accommodate additional attendees.
Expansion to additional venues allows FIRST to maintain a quality of experience for all attendees and will allow us to bolster current offerings (ex. FIRST Championship Conferences) and introduce new activities.
Overall, the change in structure from the current FIRST Championship to an Olympic inspired Championship in 2015 is not only about increasing the number of teams, but also about building a sustainable structure that will help FIRST grow in the future. This will also allow FIRST to consider and compare different cities around the country which may be able to host future FIRST Championships.
FIRST is committed to ensuring the quality of each attendee’s experience. We appreciate the continued support of the FIRST Community, and are looking forward to another inspiring season.
The FIRST Championship is the culmination of the season's FIRST programs, bringing together three separate robotics competitions for the ultimate Sport for the Mind™. The event includes the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Championship, the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) World Championship, and the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) World Festival. Also featured is the Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) World Festival Expo.
Our high-tech spectator events combine the excitement of sport with science and technology. Join our students as they showcase the results of weeks of intense preparation, competing in thrilling matches and working on their robots in the "Pits."