Windsor, ON – Detroit has won the bid to host the FIRST Robotics Championship starting in 2018 until 2020.
The prestigious event has been held in St. Louis, Missouri for the last four years and each year has attracted 30,000 participants and spectators from over 40 countries. Each year the Championship injects over $30 million into the St. Louis economy.
“Detroit gets to host the equivalent of a Super Bowl for at least three years,” says Dr. Irek Kusmierczyk, Director of Partnerships at WEtech Alliance – the regional organization that spearheaded the growth of FIRST Robotics in Windsor-Essex. “The potential economic benefit to Windsor-Essex is tremendous”.
The Championship in Detroit will be held at Cobo Center and Ford Field.
WEtech Alliance led the bid for Windsor to host the annual Windsor-Essex Great Lakes Robotics Regional, which has grown to become the largest Robotics Regional in Canada.
“Our industry partners as well as the University of Windsor and St. Clair College have been critical in growing FIRST Robotics in Windsor-Essex,” says Yvonne Pilon, President and CEO of WEtech Alliance. “Now our region has the opportunity to be part of a world-class event”.
There are fourteen high school robotics teams (FRC) operating in Windsor-Essex and around 25 FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams at the elementary school level. The Championship will host both FRC and FLL teams.
Three regional teams qualified for the World Championships in St. Louis this year including Belle River H.S, Massey Secondary and a team from Chatham-Kent. The teams are racing to fundraise the cost for registration ($5000) and travel ($10,000).
Starting in 2018, teams from Windsor-Essex will likely only have to pay registration to attend the Championship because travel will be minimal and accommodation unnecessary.
“Mayor Drew Dilkens recently proclaimed the City of Windsor a FIRST Community, with the declaration reading: whereas education is the foundation of economic development,” says Kusmierczyk. “Today that sentence was realized in a big way for Windsor-Essex”.
Starting in 2017 – the World Championships that were held in single locations such as the Georgia Dome, Epcot Centre and the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis – will be separated into two Championships in order to accommodate the exponential growth of FIRST Robotics teams worldwide.
From 2018-2020 the Championships will be simultaneously held in Houston, Texas and Detroit, Michigan.
For information please contact:
Dr. Irek Kusmierczyk
Director of Partnerships