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FIRST Robotics International Championship Will Stay In St. Louis

Kids with robots will continue coming to St. Louis for the next few years. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) announced today that the world finals of its robotics competition will take place in St. Louis from 2015 to 2017.

The international competition has been held in St. Louis for the last three years and is scheduled to remain here next year, as well. Today’s announcement guarantees that the championship will return to St. Louis for the next three years after that.

In each of the last three years, the competition has brought over 30,000 participants and their supporters to St. Louis. Their visit each year translates to over $17 million in local spending, including their stay in over 7,000 hotel rooms. The event also exposes the participants, their mentors and their parents to the city of St. Louis.

“This will continue to enhance St. Louis’s image as a forward thinking, technology-savvy city that embraces innovation,” said Mayor Francis Slay.

St. Louis was chosen over four other finalist cities: Atlanta, Detroit, Louisville and Indianapolis. President of FIRST Donald Bossi said that St. Louis was chosen for its experience hosting large-scale youth events and sporting events, as well as the commitment the city has shown to past FIRST competitions.

“We are not robotics rookies,” said Kitty Ratliffe, President of the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission. “When it comes to FIRST, St. Louis is second to none.”

For a look at what FIRST robotics competitions in St. Louis are like, be sure to read the stories below. 

Follow Kate Essig on Twitter: @KateEssig

Follow Sarah Skiöld-Hanlin on Twitter@Skihan

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