'A lot of work for all involved:' Final Four preps underway in Phoenix, GlendalePosted: Updated:
We're a little more than two weeks out now, but planning for the NCAA Final Four games in the Valley has taken years.
"When we first got the bid in November 2014, we really started working at at that time," Dawn Rogers, executive director of the Local Organizing Committee for the NCAA, said.
In the next few days, she says you can expect lots of changes, especially if you live or work in downtown Phoenix or near University of Phoenix Stadium.
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"Well be hanging the scoreboard out at University of Phoenix Stadium and FanFest will load into the Convention Center, and at Hance Park, we will start building the stage," she explained. "So we are really hard at work right now."
The plans not only include transforming the different parts of the city, but the committee also wants to make sure people who live around the areas know what's going on and how the changes will affect their day-to-day lives.
The committee is making sure it covers every single detail of the Final Four tournament.
"What lanes do you close to have team buses or the routes you need for the buses? All of the remaining odds and ends, all of the little pieces to make sure this goes off without a hitch. It takes the entire Valley," Rogers said.
That is why the City of Phoenix is busy, too, with the task of actually executing the major makeover you'll see downtown.
Roxann Favors is the major events coordinator for the City of Phoenix.
"This building is going to have event decor wrapped on it, saying, 'Phoenix Final Four: Come Ready To Play,'" she explained. "Heritage Square is also another site. They are going to do the Final Four dribble. Imagine thousands of kids with regulation-size basketballs dribbling through the streets of downtown Phoenix."
From Glendale to Phoenix, there are literally hundreds of people helping to make sure no stone is left unturned.
"It's just such a complex set of circumstances and one decision will affect another decision; one decision in Phoenix will affect something in Glendale," Rogers said.
It's a lot of work for all involved.
"For the last six weeks, it's all Final Four all the time," Favors said. "But that's what I signed up for. I love major events. I love coordinating it. The real joy is seeing the fan enjoy themselves having a great time. That's success for us."
"Honestly, I'm having the time of my life."
[PROGRAMMING NOTE: NCAA first-round games on CBS 5]
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