NCAA Final Four bringing much more than basketball to San Antonio
San Antonio —
If you've lived here for a while, you may remember that San Antonio has hosted three Men's NCAA Final Four Basketball Tournaments before - in 1998, 2004, and 2008.
But since we last hosted the climax of March Madness ten years ago, it has grown. Bigly. So expect to be blown away by some of the surrounding events when the four-day party kicks off here Friday March 30th.
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NCAA officials say one of the biggest and most popular events of the Final Four is something they didn't even have when San Antonio last hosted the tourney ten years ago.
The March Madness Music Festival began in 2010 and since then has hosted the likes of Pitbull, LL Cool J, Tim McGraw, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, Rihanna, and Sting.
The acts for this year's three-day event won't be announced until February. But you can bet they'll be on par - or better - than anything they've had in the past.
The music festival runs Friday, March 30th through Sunday, April 1st at Hemisfair. Again, it's free, but best to get there early. Probably hours early for the best spot to watch your favorite performers.
The NCAA Final Four Fan Fest presented by Capital One is also returning, bigger and better than before, to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. It runs Friday, March 30th through Monday, April 2nd, featuring all kinds of games and special presentations, autograph sessions and celebrity appearances. It's free for kids 12 and under and for members of the military. Otherwise, it'll cost you $8 if you buy a ticket before March 16th, $10 after that.
And something called Reese's Final Four Friday invites you to come down to the Alamodome on March 30th to can watch the Final Four teams in open practices, followed by the College Basketball All-Star game in the afternoon. Admission is free, but you'll want to bring some money for concessions.
And on Sunday, April 1st, it's the NCAA Final Four Dribble presented by Buick, where those 18 and under are invited to a unique parade.
The first 3,000 will get a free basketball they can dribble in that parade through part of downtown. And a T-shirt.
ABOUT THE GAMES...
Oh, and by the way, there are some college basketball games too. You can watch them in the Alamodome with about 70,000 of your closest friends.
That's right, for the first time, the dome will be set up with a basketball court in the very center, holding more fans at one time than it's seen since it opened in 1993.
The semifinal games are Saturday, March 31st, with the final game Monday night, April 2nd.
And if you actually want to be in the dome to watch, you better get your tickets now, before they're gone or the prices go up any more.
Right now, the cheapest 'all-session' tickets are going for $325, with the asking prices for the better seats into the six-thousand dollar range.
And there's one suite listed for $85,570. If you get that one, let us know. There has to be a story behind it. Or why you spent that much on it.
Finally, congratulations to San Antonio Sports and everyone who helped bring the Final Four to San Antonio again.
Looks like it'll be a blast.
Here's a link for more information.