The tournament commonly refered to as San Francisco 2000, also commonly known to fans as Season 1.0, was the third bi-annual Battlebots competition. The tournament was held at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, California, from June 9-June 11, 2000. This tournament is notable as being the first fully televised season of Battlebots, which aired fifteen episodes from August 23 , 2000 to December 5, 2000. A total of 69 robots entered the competition, and unlike the previous tournament, the competition was open to all weight classes.
The format for the San Francisco tournament remained largely unchanged from the previous one. The competition was a single elimination knock-out tournament, a precedent set with the previous event that would be followed for the rest of the original battlebots run. Two remote-controlled robots entered the ring and battle using weapons in an attempt to disable and/or destroy one another. Matches last three minites, unless a competitor is incapaciated and cannot move, at which point the remaining robot is automatically victorious and advances to the next round. In the event that both robots are still mobile at the end of a match, three judges would decide the victor using a point rubric consisting of damage, agression, and strategy. Like the previous season, a total of nine points were up for grabs, and the judges would decide how to divide these points among the competitors based on their performance in the match.The television broadcast of this season was hosted by Bil Dwyer and Sean Salisbury, who also provided commentary for the fights. Comedians Randy and Jason Sklar and Donna D'Errico of Baywatch fame served as pit correspondents and were responsible for pre and post fight interviews. This season marked the first appearance of Bill Nye as the shows technical expert.
The Battlebox was substantially upgraded for this tournament. The following is a list of changes the arena underwent from the previous season.
- The killsaws were upgraded to activate much faster than they did in the previous season. In addition, the basic floor saw unit was now a group of two, instead of a group of three. This incarnation of the killsaws would become the standard for all subsequent seasons. There were now six sets of killsaws in the arena, each consisting of two saw units that activated together. Four of the sets were located in the vicinity of the corners of the box, two other sets were located in the center of the box, aligned diagonally with eachother in the space between the hellraisers.
- The ramrods were relocated to the center-left and center-right of the box. The cover was no longer simple lexan; instead a yellow rectangle was painted around the six spike holes to provide a warning of the hazard to the drivers. The spikes now have conical bases, with dart-like fins, giving the holes their signature x shape.
- Two new hazards were added to the battlebox. The first was set of four lifting ramps staggered around the killsaws in the center of the arena which are known as the hellraisers. The second were two fifty pound sledgehammers located in the corners of the arena. The hammers were rarely deployed during this season, but served as a pre-curser for the dreaded Pulverizers.
- Y2K2 no longer counted down the start of the fights. The referees would now each give a signal using a wall mounted knob when the competitor in their respective square was ready for battle. Once each referee signaled that their square was ready, a light structure similar to the christmas tree light at drag racing events would count down the match by lighting up three yellow lights in sequence. This would be immediatley followed by a solid green light and an accompanying buzzer to signal the start of the fight. This proccess would remain standard for the rest of the original Battlebots tournaments.
Other changes include a much more elaborate set. The set for this season consisted of yellow colored panels, with a pattern of holes in them, surrounding the audience bleachers at ceiling level. The lighting was much more elaborate during the time between matches. Spotlights were used during the fight introductions to great effect, illuminating Mark Biero and the robots when they were introduced, while keeping an almost pitch black ambience in the arena. During staging, the multicolored lights would flicker in a chaser pattern. The quality and amount of lighting during fights was satisfictory, but the house lights weren't as bright as those at the All American Sports Park and Treasure island, giving the atmosphere a somewhat darker feel.