394 panels, weighing a total of 60,000 pounds, slide together like a puzzle to create a basketball court made perfect for the Final Four.
INDIANAPOLIS – The stage is ready for the biggest day in college basketball. The NCAA men’s championship game ends on Monday evening.
The course at Lucas Oil Stadium was specially designed.
“Not many people think too much about the dish. You see the court. They know it’s there, but they don’t know the process, ”said James Gabour, event project manager at Connor Sports.
Every year the road to the Final Four begins for Connor Sports in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In late autumn, the company picks sturdy maple trees that are felled and harvested. The wood is built in four by seven panels before it is sent for painting and finishing.
The process can take up to three months. This year’s Final Four Court opened in early January.
Last week, all 394 panels were installed in the Lucas Oil Stadium. It took about four hours to finish.
“The panels all snap into one another. They slide into each other. It’s like a giant puzzle and in the end you are [have] a basketball court. It weighs about 60,000 pounds and it took two trucks to get it here, ”Gabour said.
The Final Four Court is installed differently and is much larger.
“Standard dishes are 60 feet by 120 feet. That is the size of the regional courts. This yard is 70 feet by 140 feet. So it’s a lot bigger, ”said Gabour.
Connor Sports has worked with the NCAA since 2006 and has been making basketball floors since 1914. The Final Four are always something special for her.
“It’s exciting to see it and know it’s the final judgment. After that there are no more places for the tournament. You can breathe a bit and watch some exciting games, ”said Gabour.
Connor Sports provided the seats for the Regionals, Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen games. They also brought the practice dishes to the Indiana Convention Center. They also make the Final Four Court for the women’s tournament.