Final Four music festival set for April in Dallas

Posted Tuesday, Nov. 05, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Marquee sporting events aren’t only about the games anymore. It seems, in fact, that the actual games have taken a back seat to everything else.

There are concerts and interactive fan experiences and live television broadcasts that generate just as much buzz as the game itself.

North Texas saw it with the Super Bowl, the NBA All-Star Game, and it will happen again when the Final Four comes to Tarrant County in April.

The NCAA and the North Texas Local Organizing Committee announced Tuesday its plans for a three-day outdoor music festival from April 4-6 on the grounds of the old Reunion Arena in downtown Dallas.

The event will be free and open to the public, and is expected to draw headline acts that will be announced at a later date. Previous performers include the Dave Matthews Band, Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett, among others.

“The Final Four is not just a basketball game, it’s an event,” said Ron Wellman, chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and athletic director at Wake Forest. “We want fans, even the ones who don’t have tickets to the games, to enjoy the Final Four weekend and experience the event.”

The event has drawn more than 150,000 people over three days in previous host cities. The NCAA and local committee felt the location of old Reunion Arena was a natural fit, too, because it is the site of where the Metroplex last held a Final Four in 1986.

“We were looking for something unique and special and we realized it was right under our nose,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, chair of the local committee.

Louisville defeated Duke in the ’86 championship game at Reunion Arena, which closed in June 2008 and was demolished in November 2009.

Cowboys Stadium will be the final destination of college basketball this season, and DFW is also playing host to the opening games of the season with a tripleheader scheduled Friday at American Airlines Center.

There had been talk of possibly having a kickoff event at Cowboys Stadium with four games being played simultaneously, giving it the feel of March Madness with multiple games going on at once.

The logistics and teams, Anderson said, were figured out, but it didn’t come to fruition because of challenges to find the right broadcast partner.

But it remains a possibility in the future.

“I haven’t given up on that yet,” Anderson said, smiling.


• The NCAA and local committee anticipate crowds of about 80,000 for the two day games will be played. That would set an NCAA Final Four record in attendance. The NBA All-Star Game drew more than 105,000 in 2010, but the NCAA does not plan to sell that many seats.

• Several firsts came out of the 1986 Final Four at Reunion Arena that are now mainstays at the event, such as customized floors and commemorative tickets. Reserved seats, by the way, were $46 for the 1986 event. Reserve seats for this year’s Final Four will go for $190 for the three-game package.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Kansas City 10/24 8:07 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FOX
110th World Series, Game Three. Series tied, 1-1.
Full Scoreboard
Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Dallas 10/24 7:00 PM ET
New York 10/24 7:30 PM ET
Toronto TV: MSG, TSN2
Minnesota 10/24 8:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: CSN-CHI
San Antonio 10/24 8:00 PM ET
Miami 10/24 8:00 PM ET
Memphis TV: Sun Sports
Phoenix 10/24 9:00 PM ET
Sacramento 10/24 10:00 PM ET
LA Lakers TV: TWC SN, D
Denver 10/24 10:30 PM ET
Golden State TV: CSN-Bay
Portland 10/24 10:30 PM ET
LA Clippers TV: FSN-PT, NBA TV
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
San Diego21Final | Box
Denver «35Gridiron Replay
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Dallas 10/24 7:00 PM ET
New Jersey TV: FSN-SW, MSG+
Tampa Bay 10/24 8:00 PM ET
Winnipeg TV: SUN, TSN3
Vancouver 10/24 9:00 PM ET
Colorado TV: TVA 2, SNE, SNO, SNP, Alt
Carolina 10/24 9:30 PM ET
Edmonton TV: SPSO, SN-W
Columbus 10/24 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim TV: FSN-OH, FSN-PT
Full Scoreboard