FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Getting to FIRST Championship

Mar 06, 2019 Written by FIRST Staff.




It’s one of our favorite times of the year! FIRST® Championship is the annual gathering of future innovators, technology leaders, and changemakers for the ultimate celebration. For two weeks, the FIRST community takes over Houston and Detroit with thousands of fans from across the world. We showcase our STEM skills. We build our #STEMsquad. We work, play, and persevere together. If this is your first time at FIRST Championship, get ready for an unforgettable experience. Here are some tips to help prepare for #FIRSTChamp!

  • Join the Hotel Block Party. Visit our Experient hotel portal for room blocks and discounts exclusive to FIRST Championship teams and attendees. When you book your housing with FIRST, your team:
    • Receives guaranteed low rates at FIRST-reviewed hotels.
    • Stays close to the venue and other teams.
    • Enjoys convenient FIRST-contracted amenities at most hotels including complimentary parking, Wi-Fi, and breakfast.
    • Gets reservation protection and assistance before, during, and after your stay if any unexpected challenges occur.
    • Gains flexibility to make booking adjustments and pay later.
    • Receives exclusive FIRST welcome bag at on-site registration.
  • Book Flights that Work for You. Delta and United Airlines are pleased to offer FIRST Championship attendees special discounts for their flights to and from Houston and Detroit. Grab the discount codes for Houston and Detroit to start searching now for the best flights at the best prices.
  • Save at the Airport. We’ve partnered with, an airport parking reservation service with locations at more than 30 major U.S. airports, to help you find reliable, hassle-free parking with complimentary shuttles to and from the airport. Use the promo code for Houston and Detroit to save up to 20% at your home airport.
  • Make It a Road Trip. Close enough to championship that you don’t really need to fly? Road trips can be a super fun way to get pumped for your championship experience! Enjoy savings only available to FIRST Championship attendees. Use the promo codes for Houston and Detroit to save with Hertz, National Car Rental, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
  • Sit Back and Kick Up Your Gears. The Detroit People Mover and Houston Metro have exclusive discounts on passes for FIRST teams and attendees. Save on ground transportation and get you and your team to and from the celebration with ease.  
  • Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time. All that innovation can be exhausting, make sure your team has plenty of food available to stay energized. Now is the time to scope out local restaurants in and around the convention centers in Houston and Detroit, and fill out pre-order lunch forms so your meals are ready when you are.
  • Pack Carefully. In addition to your space boots and robots, you’ll want to be prepared. Check the weather for Houston or Detroit before you pack. Team shirts? Medicine? Back pack? Identification? Tissues for tears of joy? Pens for autographs? What might your team need in the Pits? The convention centers are massive, and you don’t want to have to run back and forth to your hotel room. Don’t forget to write your name (and team number) on any bags.
  • But, Leave Room. The on-site FIRST Stores are your source for authentic FIRST merch made exclusively for the FIRST #STEMsquad. Choose from the newest gadgets, apparel, and accessories featuring your favorite programs, and of course, limited edition FIRST Championship must-haves. And don’t forget memorabilia like your badge, game pieces, and swag from other teams, or sponsors and suppliers. You’ll definitely want to leave room in your bag to come home with more than what you left with.
  • Keep Your Pens & Cameras Ready. You never know when you’ll bump into one of your FIRST favorites. Dean Kamen, Don Bossi, and Woodie Flowers, our fearless FIRST leaders are known for walking around and signing autographs and taking selfies with everyone they meet.

We want you to have the time of your life at FIRST Championship. Start preparing now so you can focus on the celebration when you get there. See you in April!

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When and where are the competitions in the Washington DC area.  Please send me a link to the schedule.


Hi Allan!

You can find all our events on our Team and Event Search page here:,FLL,FTC,FRC&year=2018

Simply enter in the filters you want to search for and the events in the Washington, DC area will show!


Jamee Luce

Team Advocate, FIRST Robotics Competition

Can you provide a range of prices for food at the concession stands and the food trucks I want to give the students an idea of how much money to bring for food?

Thank you!


There is so much variety at both Championship locations that it is extremely difficult to estimate the cost of food. Unfortunately, we don't have official prices for any of the concessions in the buildings. An estimate for ranges is below, but please remember that these are just estimates:

Breakfast $5 -- $15

Lunch $8 -- $20

Dinner $10 -- $30


Jamee Luce

Team Advocate, FIRST Robotics Competition

Are there any areas in Cobo Center where teams can bring in a group lunch. If we order pizza or sandwiches from a local place, where can we hand them out and eat?

Hi Lori!

Unfortunately, there is no space inside Cobo where teams can bring in outside meals. Teams are asked to leave the venue to eat meals from restaurants/vendors not inside Cobo.


Jamee Luce

Team Advocate, FIRST Robotics Competition

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