Robo Revenue on the Way

A statement in the minutes of a Fayetteville Advertising & Promotion Commission meeting that a robotics competition slated for April would bring in nearly $1.25 million caught our eye.

But commission director Marilyn Heifner said that figure was a mistake, and should actually be about $740,000.

To calculate the economic impact of an event, she explained, the commission multiplies the expected number of attendees — in this case, about 3,000 — by $247.06, the per-person expenditure figure used by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.

We still think $740,000 is pretty impressive for this event.

The University of Arkansas College of Engineering will host the FIRST Robotics Razorback Regional Competition on April 4-6 at Barnhill Arena. More than 40 high schools throughout the state and region will send students, teachers, mentors, sponsors and family members to Fayetteville for the event.

FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, is a nonprofit founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, according to a news release from the College of Engineering.

This will be the first time Arkansas has hosted the annual competition. Teams will vie for regional awards and a spot at the FIRST championship in St. Louis.