The competition was held in the Edward Jones Dome, home of the Rams, with the pits in the America’s Center. Our first challenge was offloading all of our tools and getting inside to set up our pit. Just like at every smaller competition, each team would get a 10 by 10 by 10 foot cube of space to set up a mini workshop called our “pit” where we would keep our robot in between matches and do any necessary repairs. Normally, the pits would fill a high school gym. Here, with 600 teams in attendance, we filled the America’s Center. The only way to describe the size of this building would be to say that it took a good fifteen minutes to walk from one end to the other.
|Edward Jones Football Stadium filled with eager competitors|
But nothing would compare to the size of the “Dome.” Eight different fields, eight different divisions, inside the Edward Jones Football Stadium. Each one named after a different famous scientist from history: Newton, Hopper, Tesla, Archimedes, Galileo, Curie, Carver, and Carson. Each field had its own massive LCD screen hanging above it where the match data would be displayed. Each field also had its own section of the stands where all the members of all the teams in each division would sit and cheer. Each field would be played on by the best teams from all around the world. We were no longer in a high school gym. We were at the World Championship. This was what it meant to go pro in FIRST.