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Final Four events tip-off across Minneapolis

April 05, 2019 06:26 PM

Events for the NCAA Final Four are kicking off across Minneapolis.

"I think Minneapolis for sure is ready," Cydni Bickerstaff said, who is Vice President of Event Operations for the Final Four in Minneapolis. "It's something for everyone, that's our message this whole weekend anywhere you are in the city."

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Along Nicollet Mall, the Final Four's Tip-Off Tailgate has vendors, food and drinks and other activities to entertain visitors. The star attraction is the Ferris wheel set up at the intersection with 10th Street. Street team volunteers wearing question marks are positioned to easily help people find their way.

"We've been coming down here to check out all of the things they are excited for the Ferris wheel and now we're going to fan fest to check it out," Nicki Weinhagen said, who brought her family out Friday to see what was happening.

RELATED: KSTP's Final Four coverage

There is also a big stage and screen at 11th Street where musicians will be performing and the games will be shown.

At U.S. Bank Stadium Friday, the public was invited in to see the transformation from football to basketball in person. 

It was Michele Culclasure from Woodbury's first time in U.S. Bank Stadium.

"It's Minnesota friendly," she said. "Everyone is friendly everybody talks it is so family oriented."

"As soon as the Super Bowl was over we were in planning for the Final Four," Minnesota Sports Facility Authority Chair Michael Vekich said.

Vekich said the MSFA learned a lot from hosting the Super Bow, and with the smaller court and extra seats, the Final Four will become the largest event in the stadium's history.

"We added 18,000 extra seats as part of a special seating system that the NCAA requires," Vekich said.

The court is assembled from nearly 400 pieces and features courtside microphones so everyone in the stadium can hear the movement of the players' feet no matter where they are sitting.

Hanging 100 feet above the court an 80-foot diameter scoreboard with huge video screens weighs about 140,000 pounds
 

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Credits

Matt Belanger

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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