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We hope you’ll join us next season for a celebration of space innovation and STEM inspiration, culminating with the 2019 FIRST Championship in Houston (April 17-20, 2019) and Detroit (April 24-27, 2019).

Event A-Z Guide

2018 FIRST® Championship Detroit - 2019 will be updated as information is posted. 


ADA Spectator Seating

ADA Seating will be available at the Cobo Center and Ford Field. Specific seating areas will be indicated on site.



There is no fee to attend the 2018 FIRST Championship; the event and Pits are open to the public! Be sure to visit all the FIRST programs.

  • The FIRST® Robotics Competition Championship is located at the Cobo Center on Level 2, Halls B -D.
  • The FIRST® Tech Challenge World Championship is located at the Cobo Center on Level 2, Hall A.
  • FIRST® LEGO® League World Festival and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. World Festival Expo are at Cobo Center Level 1.
  • FIRST Championship Welcome Party and FIRST Championship Closing Celebration can be found at Ford Field.


Ceremonies and National Anthems

Teams are expected to attend the Opening, Awards and Closing Ceremonies 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.

Welcome Party on the Field

Thursday, April 26, 2018, 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.

At the party:

  • Musical Acts
  • Digital Graffiti Walls
  • Giant Lite Brite
  • Giant Board and Family Games
  • Photo Booths
  • Balloon Artists
  • Face Painting
  • Silent Disco


FIRST Championship Closing Celebration at Ford Field

Saturday, April 28, 2018, 6:30 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 and, 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 and Make it Loud Award

You must have your badge to get in the park. Bringing bags is discouraged. There will be bag checks by security; more security information here.

Please check the FIRST Championship App for the full schedule and ceremony times. 



There are concessions location within the convention center, with many food options around the Cobo Center. Many 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.


Consent and Release Forms and Team Roster

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


FIRST Championship Detroit Alumni and Career Experience brought to you by ABB, BAE Systems, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Kettering University

The Alumni and Career experience at FIRST Championship is for participants, alumni, parents, and mentors to understand and explore the opportunities that are available to FIRST Alumni after high school.
Activities include:


FIRST Alumni Mixer brought to you by ABB, BAE Systems, and Kettering University
Thursday, April 26, 2018, 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Ford Field, Gridiron Club

An opportunity for FIRST Alumni to connect with fellow FIRST Alumni from around the world. Be sure to identify yourself as a FIRST Alum when you register for badges at Championship.

Please visit FIRST Championship Detroit Alumni and Career for more details and additional Alumni activities.


FIRST Championship App

Use the FIRST Championship App for interactive maps, personalized schedules, activities, team info, volunteer info, alerts, and more.


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 Resources (supports for team mentors and coaches 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.)
  • Scholarship and Alumni (career preparation and job opportunities, staying involved with FIRST after graduation, alumni organizations, alumni success stories, etc.)
For a full list of conferences please use the app.


FIRST Innovation Faire

  • Wednesday: 11:00 am-5:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am-4:00 pm

The Innovation Faire is a face to face engagement with FIRST sponsors and supporters with the student community. There will also be a college scholarship row, and other interactive exhibits. The students will take away a further understanding of why each sponsor uses 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.


Scholarship Row

Thursday and Friday
Scholarship Row at the 2018 FIRST Championship Innovation Faire is a place for participants, parents and mentors to talk with representatives from some of the colleges, universities and organizations that make FIRST Scholarships available. This is an ideal opportunity for sophomores and juniors who are planning for college to talk first-hand to college representatives. Seniors can find out about scholarships that are still available for the coming fall, and for freshmen, it's never too early to start thinking about college! In 2018, over $50 million in college scholarships are available to FIRST Participants from nearly 200 Scholarship Providers. For more information, please the view Championship website.


Event Schedule

Please see the Championship app for the full list of events



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 Level 1, Riverfront Salon West

Hours of operation




Wednesday April 25, 2018

6:00 AM

6:00 PM

Thursday April 26, 2018

7:00 AM

6:00 PM

Friday April 27, 2018

7:00 AM

6:00 PM

Saturday April 28, 2018

6:30 PM

3:30 PM




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 in 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 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

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

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 on 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.


Hall of Fame

Visit the Hall of Fame (HOF) 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 HOF 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 HOF team!


Incident Reporting

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. Report of Medical Incident forms may be obtained at Pit Admin.


Safety Concerns

All persons on-site who are responsible for operating the event should be able to recognize threats to safety and be prepared to take prompt remedial action. Safety concerns and non-medical incidents should be dealt with as quickly as possible in whatever manner is most appropriate to ensure the safety of everyone at the event. FIRST requires that all safety concerns and non-medical incidents be reported to the party conducting the event and toFIRST Headquarters within 48 hours Non-Medical Incident forms may be found at Pit Admin.

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.



Keep safety in mind. 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.

Mentor/Coach Breakfast Celebration

Friday, April 27th, 7:00 AM

Grand Riverview Ballroom, Level 2, COBO Center
This is a cross-program event for all FIRST Mentors and Coaches and includes speakers and networking opportunities. 



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.

Bus and Trailer Parking information is listed here.

Fee Based Parking information is listed here.

Parking information for Ford Field is listed here.


Pre-Order Lunches

Pre-order lunches are available on-site. Orders must be placed by April 18, 2108. Download the order form here.


Registration and Check-In

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 each event and increases the security of the multi- venue event.

We strongly encourage your team to complete the attendee registration prior to your arrival in Detroit, as this will expedite your team’s attendee badge collection.



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 Pit. 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.

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 Cobo 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).

Remember, the Pits are open to the public. Please take proper security measures to protect any valuable items.



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


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.



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.


Updates and Changes

The Championship App will have the latest information. Please check the app for any schedule or on-site updates.



The 2018 FIRST Championship Event is a multiple point campus, which includes two spaces:

The Cobo Center: for FIRST LEGO League World Festival, FIRST LEGO League Jr. World Festival Expo, 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, click here. Or, visit the venue site here:

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



Volunteers power 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 FIRSTChampionship experience for all. 
Interested in making an impact volunteering for the 2018 FIRST Championship? Register at www.firstinspires.orgbefore the event or on site at Volunteer Registration. Check out the Volunteer Addendum for more details on the volunteer experience.


Volunteer Central

Volunteer Central is an area specifically designated for all 2018 FIRST Championship event volunteers to use the day of their shifts. Teams and spectators are not allowed in this area unless they are also registered as volunteers that day at the event. Volunteer Central is located on the 3rd floor and includes:

  • The Volunteer Café – located in Room 310A-B, this is where meals are provided to volunteers on the day of their shift. Volunteers should register any dietary preferences in Experient before the event.
  • The Volunteer Lounge – located in Room 312A-B, is a space where volunteers can get away from the crowd and relax during breaks. There are tables, chairs, board games, and laptops with internet available.
  • The Volunteer Office – located in Room 311A-B, the office is the base for the Volunteer Resources Department staff during the event.

See the Volunteer Addendum for further information on Volunteer Central activities, menus, and events.


Volunteer Registration

Volunteer Registration is located on the 2nd level. All volunteers must go to Volunteer Registration before starting their shift to check in, receive their badge, important information, their volunteer gift and T-shirt.

Volunteer Registration hours:




Tuesday April 24, 2018

7:00 am

6:00 pm

Wednesday April 25, 2018

6:00 am

8:00 pm

Thursday April 26, 2018

7:00 am

8:00 pm

Friday April 27, 2018

7:00 am

7:00 pm

Saturday April 28, 2018

7:00 am

5:00 pm


Volunteer Thank you

Many thanks to our dedicated team of volunteers who are giving their time and talent to inspire the next generation by making the 2018 FIRST Championship a success!