FIRST Championship Detroit

Event Guide

2019 FIRST® Championship Detroit

Table of Contents
Alumni and Career Experience
Ceremonies and Seating
  • ADA Spectator Seating
  • Closing Celebration
  • Welcome Party
FIRST Championship Conferences
FIRST Programs
  • Concessions
  • Pre-Order Lunch
Innovation Faire
Registration and Badging
  • Check-in
  • Consent and Release Forms
  • Hours
  • Mascots
  • Medical Incidents
  • Non-Medical Incidents
  • Safety Glasses
  • Security
Student Ambassadors
Team Picture Area
Venue Information
  • Campus Locations
  • Local Transportation
  • Lost and Found
  • Parking
  • Shipping
  • Wireless

Alumni and Career Experience

Brought to you by ABB, BAE Systems, PwC, and Rockwell Automation


2019 FIRST Alumni Mixer Detroit
FIRST Alumni will connect with one another, FIRST staff, and event sponsors about their FIRST experience, career opportunities and how to leverage their FIRST experiences for the future. Light food and refreshments provided, FIRST Alumni give aways and… you never know who else might show up!

Thursday, April 25th
7:30 – 9 pm ET

Ford Field, Gridiron Club
RSVP for the Alumni Mixer at

Alumni and Career Conference Track
Including (but not limited to)
Putting FIRST to Work for You
Companies want and need FIRST talent! Join us for a special Q&A panel discussion with ABB, BAE Systems, PwC, and Rockwell Automation about leveraging your FIRST experiences as you move into career. Whether you’re in school or have years of work experience under your belt, you’ll get information about the recruiting priorities at these top companies as well as tips that will help guide you to career paths that leverage your FIRST skills. Attendees will walk away with helpful tips and advice on how to build your professional networks, strengthen your resume, and advance your career by leveraging your FIRST experience as a student, mentor, or volunteer.

Thursday, April 25th
9:30 – 10:20 am ET
Room 250BC

FIRST Alumni Swag
FIRST Championship “FIRST Alumni” and “Class of” ribbons

  • FIRST Alumni Ribbons available at check-in (Tues – Sat) and at Innovation Faire (Thursday – Friday)
  • FIRST Alumni Class of (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022) ribbons available at Innovation Faire (Thursday – Friday)
Buy your FIRST Alumni swag on-site at Championship (and online!)
Download the FIRST Championship App for interactive maps, personalized schedules, activities, team info, volunteer info, alerts, and more.
Ceremonies and Seating
Teams are expected to attend the Awards Ceremonies and Closing Celebration to show appreciation for speakers, sponsors and teams. These events enhance the meaning of FIRST. Please graciously observe the playing of all anthems by being respectful and remaining silent for all countries in attendance.

ADA Spectator Seating

ADA accessible seating is available for all fields for the person in need plus one companion. Please see a volunteer for directions to seating.

Closing Celebration
Saturday, April 27, 2019, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 4:30 p.m.)
The FIRST Championship Detroit Closing Celebration at Ford Field will combine all closing activities into one celebration! Final matches with the top two alliances for FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge will be played, top awards for all programs will be given out with finale entertainment spread throughout the event. The following awards will be presented at the Closing Celebration:

  • FIRST Robotics Competition Chairman’s Award
  • FIRST Tech Challenge Inspire Award
  • FIRST LEGO League Champions Award
  • Volunteer of the Year Award for all Programs
  • FIRST Robotics Competition Finalist and Winners
  • FIRST Tech Challenge Finalist and Winners
  • Special Presentation of the Dean’s List Winners
You must have your badge to get in the park. Bringing bags, tools, and electronics is discouraged. There will be bag checks by security, and the more items you bring, the longer it will take to get through the security check points.

Welcome Party on the Field

Thursday, April 25, 2019, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
The FIRST Championship Detroit Welcome Party is a festival environment with fun for all ages. Featuring musical acts and activities throughout, don’t miss this Championship kick off experience! The Welcome Party is located at Ford Field, just a short distance from the Cobo Center. Remember to bring your badge. Activities throughout the field include:

  • Musical Acts
  • Silent Disco
  • Live Band Karoke
  • Art Boards
  • Giant Board and Family Games
  • Photo Booths
FIRST Championship Conferences
The FIRST Championship Conference will be held Wednesday- Friday. The conference includes sessions and workshops on topics of interest to all members of the FIRST community in the following conference tracks:

  • Technical Resources (designing, building, programming or other technical application)
  • Mentor/Coach/Volunteer Resources (supports for team mentors, coaches, and volunteers to improve the team experience)
  • Education (implementing FIRST programs in the classroom or school setting)
  • Diversity and Inclusion (cultivating talent and promoting the full inclusion of excellence across the social identity spectrum)
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship (product development, product marketing, design thinking, creating a team culture of innovation, start-up success stories, business planning, idea pitching, etc.)
  • Alumni and Career (career preparation and job opportunities, staying involved with FIRST after graduation, alumni organizations, alumni success stories, etc.)
For a full list of conferences please download the app.
FIRST Programs
FIRST LEGO League Jr. (grades K-4)
Elementary school kids are challenged to explore a scientific topic, then present what they learned with a Show Me poster and a powered LEGO model. Sixty teams will present their findings at the FIRST LEGO League Jr. World Festival Expo located on Room 140, Level 1.

For program- specific information in Detroit, see FIRST LEGO League Jr. Addendum.
FIRST LEGO League (ages 9-16)
Elementary and middle school kids are judged on Core Values, Robot Design, and Project. All activities will be held in Level 1 Hall E at the Cobo Center, where you can see 108 teams work on their robots and compete.

For program- specific information in Detroit, see FIRST LEGO League Addendum.
FIRST Tech Challenge (grades 7-12)
Middle and high school students compete on special playing fields with robots they have designed, programmed, and built themselves. One hundred and twenty-eight teams will compete in Hall A Level 2.

For program- specific information in Detroit, see FIRST Tech Challenge Addendum.
FIRST Robotics Competition (grades 9-12)
High school students from over 400 teams compete on special playing fields with robots they have designed, programmed, and built themselves. FIRST Robotics Competition Fields and pits (safety glasses provided and required) will be in the Cobo Center Level 2 Halls B-D. Watch teams compete in this year’s robotics challenge on six playing fields.

For program- specific information in Detroit, see FIRST Robotics Competition Addendum - COMING SOON

Hall of Fame
Visit the Hall of Fame booth, home of previous FIRST Robotics Competition Chairman’s Award Winners. The Chairman’s Award represents the spirit of FIRST and remains FIRST Robotics Competition’s most prestigious award. The Hall of Fame booth will also have the Chairman’s Award Clock and Woodie Flowers Award on display for viewing. This is a great opportunity for you to interact with some of the top FIRST Robotics Competition teams and learn what it takes to become a Hall of Fame team!
The FIRST Store is your on-site source for merchandise made exclusively for the FIRST #STEMsquad, including limited edition FIRST Championship must-haves. Get your FIRST gear now!

The FIRST Store is located on site on Level 1, Riverfront Salon West.

Hours of operation
Wednesday, April 24 6:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday, April 25 7:00am – 6:00pm
Friday, April 26 7:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday, April 27 6:30am – 3:30pm
There are concessions located within the convention center, with many food options around the Cobo Center. Local food trucks will be available as well.

Many local restaurants have generously offered discounts to event attendees. Use this list for food discounts off site. Registration badges will be required to receive the discount.

Pre-Order Lunch
Pre-order lunches are available at the Cobo Center. Order form.
Innovation Faire
  • Wednesday: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    • Featuring Choose Michigan
  • **Thursday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • **Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The Innovation Faire brings together FIRST sponsors and supporters with the student community in the Grand Riverview Ballroom A with engaging interactive events and booths. There will also be a college scholarship row, and other interactive exhibits. The students will take away a deeper understanding of why each sponsor celebrates STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) as the basis for their companies’ existence, and how they can be a part of it in the future.

**FIRST Scholarship Providers and Alliances only on Thursday and Friday

Registration and Badging
Please be ready to present you ID when picking up your badge.

FIRST requires every Championship attendee to be registered and badged, including adult team mentors, youth team members, parents, family members, chaperones, etc. who are participating in the event.  Attendee registration grants access to participant-only activities and increases the security of the event.

We strongly encourage your team to complete attendee badging prior to your arrival, as this will expedite your team’s attendee badge collection and your entrance to the event.

Please check-in with your programs' Pit Admin for program-specific details.

Consent and Release Forms
All participating team members and volunteers must complete a current season FIRST Consent and Release form.


Tuesday - 7am – 6pm
Wednesday - 6am – 8pm
Thursday (Cobo) - 6am – 6pm (Ford Field - 4pm – 8pm)
Friday - 6am – 7pm
Saturday - 6am – 5pm (Ford Field - 4pm – 8pm)

All children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times while in the Pit area.

Be aware of apparel and hair safety issues while working on your robot. Sandals, open-toed shoes, and Crocs are not allowed in the Pits, fields, or other team work areas. Wear relaxed, fun and appropriate clothing; remember, you represent your team and FIRST. Body paint in lieu of clothes is not appropriate. Bathing suits and other revealing clothes are not appropriate.

Please keep safety in mind and make sure that mascot and team costumes are safe for the wearer as to vision and movement and are comfortable and cool enough to prevent fainting and dehydration. Mascots are not allowed on the playing field.

Medical Incidents
FIRST requires that physical injuries and medical problems, however slight, be documented and reported to the party conducting the event or his or her designee and to FIRST Headquarters within 48 hours of the occurrence. Medical Incident forms may be obtained at any Pit Admin. FIRST requires that all safety concerns and non-medical incidents be reported to the party conducting the event and to FIRST Headquarters within 48 hours Non-Medical Incident forms may be found at any Pit Admin.

Non-Medical Incidents
Non-Medical Incident forms may be found at any Pit Admin.

NEW! Non-Medical Online Reporting Form -  This form can be used for any concern ranging from or related to volunteer issues, venue issues, Code of Conduct issues, or Youth Protection issues. Read more about it here.

Safety Glasses
Safety Glasses are required to be worn by everyone while in the FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge Pit Area. Safety Glasses are available for spectators at the major Pit Entrances for these programs, but teams should plan to bring their own.

Be sure to keep valuable items with you at all times or placed in a lockable compartment in your Pit station. FIRST and the George R. Brown Convention Center do not guarantee security of personal items. We strongly recommend that you do not leave behind valuable items in your Pits at any time, such as personal computers, cell phones, cameras, etc. You can report any lost items to the Event Information Desk (see Lost and Found).
Please see the FIRST Championship app for the full list of events.
Student Ambassadors
Guests are invited to take an in-depth tour of the Championship with our most knowledgeable tour guides, our students! Tours are available Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at both events. All tours are subject to availability. Please see the Student Ambassadors desk located near registration to set up a tour.
Team Picture Area
There is a designated area at the FIRST Championship where teams are welcome to take group pictures with their sponsors, team mates etc.  This area is located on Level 1 near the student lounge in the Atrium.  There will be a FIRST sign where teams can pose for their pictures to be taken.   Please note, teams will need to supply their own photographers for the pictures.
Venue Information
Campus Locations
The FIRST Championship Event is a multiple point campus, which includes two spaces:

The Cobo Center
FIRST LEGO League Jr. World Festival Expo, FIRST LEGO League World Festival, FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship, FIRST Robotics Competition Championship, Conferences, and select VIP events; which will feature the Innovation Faire including Scholarship Row.
The Cobo Center is located at 1 Washington Blvd. For detailed directions, visit the venue site: 

Ford Field
The opening celebration as well as the finals for FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge along with the closing ceremonies. The venue is located at 2000 Brush St. Directions to Ford Field are listed here.

Local Transportation
Transportation and parking information can be found here. If using The Detroit People Mover, please be sure to follow all safety rules located here. The stop at the Cobo Center is located on the 4th floor, and the Grand Circus stop is closest to Ford Field.

Lost and Found
During the live event hours, all lost and found items will be brought to the information booth, located near the registration area.  All items will be held until the end of the day when they will be delivered to the Hospitality Desk at Cobo Hall where they will remain until claimed.

There is a parking lot available for buses and trailers. This has very limited parking and there is no security provided. There are other parking lots around the city that are fee based. Buses and trailers cannot park at the Cobo Center.

The Cobo Center cannot accept shipments directly. For robot shipping please refer to the program addendum.

Due to the wireless nature of FIRST control systems, wireless availability will be evaluated during the course of the event. Teams will not be allowed to set up their own wireless networks at the Championship. While we certainly appreciate the positive potential team- created wireless networks could represent, there is a chance such wireless networks could interfere with planned activities during the event.
Volunteers fuel the mission of FIRST! Our volunteers are the backbone of Championship. They help with everything from field set up to providing safety glasses and even judging. Their support is integral in creating an inspiring FIRST Championship experience for all. Interested in making an impact volunteering for the FIRST Championship? Register at before the event or on site at the Volunteer Registration.

Check out the Volunteer Addendum for more details on the volunteer experience.
The live stream will be available on FIRSTtv. Don’t miss shows like PLAYxPLAY (live game commentary), Beyond the Bots (top stories), and more. Visit Twitch for airtimes and archives.