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Arizona leaders, NCAA unveil events for Final Four celebration

By Spencer West
Published: Friday, January 19, 2024 - 8:19am

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs at a press conference
Bennett Silvyn/Cronkite News
Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs at a press conference Jan. 18, 2024.

With the 2024 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Final Four just under three months away, Arizonans are getting their first peek into the festivities that will be available during the four-day event.

In a press conference held at the Eastlake Park in central Phoenix, Arizona leaders and NCAA board members discussed the upcoming games, the events surrounding the games, and the initiatives intended to support the metro Phoenix community, all headed by the NCAA.

Eastlake Park in Phoenix
Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez/KJZZ
Eastlake Park in Phoenix.

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs spoke at the press conference, where she praised Arizona’s handling of major sporting events over the last year,

“As you know, Arizona is no stranger to hosting major sporting events, having been the home of Super Bowl LVII, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and the World Baseball Classic just last year,” said Hobbs. “And each time, we show off why Arizona does it best, and that’s exactly what we’ll do again in April.”

Events outside from the actual games will be held mostly in downtown Phoenix. Final Four Fan Fest, which will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center, gives fans the opportunity to meet and receive autographs from their favorite players, as well as participate in other interactive activities.

welcome sign
Christina Estes/KJZZ
Phoenix Convention Center sign at Third and Jefferson streets.

For the less basketball obsessed attendee, the March Madness Music Festival is right down the street at Margaret T. Hance Park. This three-day festival has previously featured performers like Aerosmith, Kendrick Lamar, and Rihanna. The event is free for fans to attend.

For those aged 18 and under is the Men's Final Four Dribble, which gives young basketball lovers a chance to dribble along a route in downtown Phoenix. A free basketball and t-shirt will be provided to those who sign up, as well as a free ticket to the Final Four Fan Fest. Parents can sign up for free.

The NCAA will also be giving back to the community with their Final Four Legacy Project, which refurbishes basketball courts in the host city. This year, the NCAA will be refurbishing the courts at Eastlake Park near 14th and Washington streets.

When Phoenix last held the Final Four in 2017, their first time welcoming the Final Four to Arizona. This year, the Final Four semifinals will be held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on April 6, with the finals being held two days later on April 8. The festivities will run April 5-8.

State Farm Stadium
Bridget Dowd/KJZZ
State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Nov. 26, 2023.

Event details

Men’s Final Four Legacy Project Ribbon Cutting
Place: Eastlake Community Center
Date: April 2
Time: TBA

Men’s Final Four Fan Fest
Place: Phoenix Convention Center
Dates: April 5-8
Times: April 4-5: 12-8 p.m. | April 6: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. | April 7: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. | April 8: 12-6 p.m.

March Madness Music Festival
Place: Margaret T. Hance Park
Dates: April 5-7
Time: TBA

Reese’s Men’s Final Four Friday
Place: State Farm Stadium
Date: April 5
Time: Open Practices from 11 a.m. – 2:50 p.m. | Reese’s NABC All-Star Game at 3:30 PM

Men’s Final Four Dribble
Place: Heritage Square (starting line) and Phoenix Convention Center (finish line)
Date: April 7
Time: 10:30 a.m.

Men’s Final Four Tip-off Tailgate
Place: State Farm Stadium – Great Lawn
Dates: April 5-6 and 8
Times: April 5: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | April 6: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. | April 8: 2-5:30 p.m.

Cronkite News' Jesse Brawders contributed to this report.

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