This week’s question is from Joe Barry, Team 987, The High Rollers, from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA:
Now that we have the Championships venue decided upon for several years to come it makes sense to continue to enhance the experience in St. Louis in ways that ensure a fun, rewarding, educational, and safe experience. As referenced in various Chief Delphi posts and a personal discussion with you this past season, it is obvious that much still needs to be done to make the early morning team entry into the dome a more orderly and safe experience. Has FIRST figured out at a safe, workable crowd control plan for the venue yet...like ensuring the same set of doors are clearly labeled and used for ingress, effective roping for a proper que of teams, wristbands, timed intervals for each team's entry, etc.? Of all the planning efforts associated with this awesome event, I am sure we all agree that none is more important than those that relate to the safety of all individuals participating in it.
Thanks for the question, Joe.
You are correct that safety is our top priority. For the 2013 FIRST Championship, we added stanchions outside the entryway to help guide individuals safely through the doors of venue, and also had additional individuals assigned to crowd control, reminding everyone to slow down. In the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombing, which happened just a few days before the event, we also added bag checks and security dogs to the event, with the goal of increasing the safety and comfort of all attendees.
We are working now on the security and crowd control plan for the 2014 FIRST Championship. We don’t have details finalized yet, but we’ll pass along information important to teams when the time comes. You can expect, though, that there will be changes to how these elements are handled, and as always, we’ll be counting on the teams do their part to help keep the event safe.
I’ll blog again soon.