Hype builds ahead of NCAA Final Four

by / Thursday, 25 March 2010 / Published in Feature Articles

In nine days, all college basketball eyes will be on Indianapolis for the NCAA Final Four.

It seems all of Indianapolis is looking ahead to next week’s matchups, preps are underway all over downtown.

Signs are going up and the Final Four floor arrives in Indianapolis Thursday. The Michigan-made portable Maple court is just one of the ways they’re transforming Lucas Oil Stadium into a big-time basketball arena.

Extra bleachers are being added around the court and a massive eight screen, high-definition video board was brought in on Sunday and hoisted 50 feet high on Wednesday, just in time for the court to be installed underneath it on Friday.

Each video board is 28 feet wide and 15 feet high. Four of them will show live video from the court while the other four display scores and statistics.

“Most of the basketball arenas have a center hung piece. You know they have the floor action and they have the action right above the floor and a lot of the football arenas that the NCAA has gone to they don’t have center hung boards that enhance the experience for the fans and that’s where we come in. We hang them up. We did in Detroit last year and that was a huge success and we’ve actually gone a little bigger here at the home of the NCAA for the final four this year,” Jeff Williams, Production and Show Manager of GoVision.

Everything seems to be bigger about the final four this year, including the economic impact.

According to the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, when the Final Four was here in 2006, it brought $39.3 million in extra spending.

Analysts are predicting this year, it’ll rack up $50 million for the city because everything is bigger about it.

With the extra seating space available in Lucas Oil Stadium… attendance will go up from 40 thousand to 70 thousand, and in the last couple of years, the NCAA has extended the event well beyond the court… Into a 5-day extravaganza.

“The NCAA has absolutely gone on a mission to open up the event to non-ticket holding fans so there’s Bracket Town which is an interactive FanFest that will take place at the Indiana convention center next Thursday evening. The open practices on Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium if you want to see the teams during their one hour practice sessions and that will be followed by the All Star game at Lucas Oil Stadium and again that’s all free and then Friday Saturday and Sunday will be the big dance on the White River State lawn with major acts like Daughtry and LL Cool J and the Stone Temple Pilots,” said Bill Benner Indy Convention and Visitors Association.

The Goo Goo Dolls, Darius Rucker and others will also perform. They’re already started to set up the stage downtown and all those concerts are free.

Admission to Bracket Town is $10 for most adults and $6 for kids.

On top of a boost to Indianapolis, fans are snatching up Butler and Purdue gear.

At the Butler bookstore, Sweet 16 T-shirts are the most popular right now, but workers are hoping their next big seller will be Final Four T-shirts.

from WTHR.com – Click here for full article

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