| America's Center and Edward Jones Dome
701 Convention Plz
St. Louis, MO 63101
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ST. LOUIS, (SLFP.com), September 30, 2013 - City officials and members of the local organizing Robotics committee and several high school teams were on hand Monday morning at the America's Center to hear Donald E. Bossi, president of FIRST®, announce via telephone that St. Louis had out bid five finalist cities to host the annual international robotics Championship from 2015 continuing through 2017.
Kathleen "Kitty" Ratcliffe, President of the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC), beamed with excitement as she asked St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay to come to the podium to officially accept the bid.
"I am honored and thrilled with this announcement that St. Louis will be hosting this prestigious event for another three years. This prestigious event brings to St. Louis some of the best and brightest young minds from around the country," stated Mayor Slay. "This competition is designed to build not only science and technology skills and interest, but also self-confidence and life skills among high schoolers."
St. Louis has become a forward thinking, technology savvy city that embraces innovation, the Mayor said. He acknowledged that with the announcement comes the responsibility to continue to showcase and support the event and work with FIRST to improve upon the competition.
"Don, we are thrilled with the announcement and you will not be disappointed," stated the Mayor over the open phone call, as the audience broke into a round of cheers and applause.
Ratcliffe noted that the high school students attending the press conference wore their Robotics team shirts, including "The Jet Guys", "Cafe Bot" and brought their robots. "They are the FIRST family locally," she stated.
FIRST will bring more than 25,000 kids from around the globe, as well as their mentors and parents, for the four-day event in April 2014. The long term impact of the competition will be an economical boost to tourism businesses including hotels, restaurants and local attractions.
She stated that the participants filled more than 7,000 hotel rooms on peak nights and have generated about $17 million dollars in direct spending in each of the last three years. Together with spending by FIRST and sponsors, the overall impact is about $29 million in the local economy for each event.
Ratcliffe said that as kids who compete in FIRST go onto college and are offered jobs by major corporations, hopefully they will consider a company from St. Louis over other cities. "As they work towards a career, perhaps they will think of the companies in St. Louis that have supported Robotics. They will think of St. Louis as a cool place to live and take the job here."
The FIRST Championship event for 2015-2017 will be housed at the America's Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, with a total of 502,000 contiguous square feet of exhibit space in six halls, 83 meeting rooms, the 1,411 fixed-seat Ferrara Theatre, the St. Louis Executive Conference Center, and the 66,000-seat Edward Jones Dome.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) - The business district of downtown Saint Louis continues to grow and reshape its skyline with dramatic new structures of marble, granite and glass. At the turn of the century, Saint Louis was known as the small industrial capital of the world. Washington Avenue, which passes in front of the America's Center, was once a prosperous canyon of architecturally beautiful brick buildings housing shoe, clothes and fashion manufacturers.
Saint Louis was established as a trading post on the west banks of the Mississippi River in 1764 by a French fur trapper named Pierre LaClede. Business was good from the beginning. Soon the village became the center of commerce with furs as the main source of exchange for goods.
Directions: America's Center is located at 701 Convention Plaza, just north of downtown and east of I-70. The Edward Jones Dome is adjacent to the Center and faces Broadway. The facility is west of historic Laclede's Landing and the landmark Eads Bridge. The Center is approximately six blocks north of Busch Stadium, home of St. Louis Cardinals baseball.
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