The 2018 Men’s NCAA basketball tournament will be coming to a close tonight when #3 seed Michigan and #1 seed Villanova face off to be crowned champion of the big dance. The NCAA tournament, filled with many positive economic impacts as well as a “slight” decline in productivity (boss button ready), provides history, tradition, and excitement to many around the United States. One main piece of the national championship is the Final Four court that is uniquely made and branded for each year.
Let’s take a closer look at the supply-chain of the Final Four Floor:
The Final Four floor is a 70’ x 140’ court comprised of 397 4’ x 7’ pieces. Each of these pieces weighs around 188 pounds for a grand total of 37 tons….or for reference, 54,280 basketballs. The court was installed on Friday, March 23 and took about 4 hours to finish.
The journey of the final four floor begins in the Two Hearted Forest Reserve located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where the maple trees are harvested. The harvested maple wood is then taken to an Amasa Michigan mill where the floor pieces are manufactured, inspected, consolidated, and stacked. Once manufactured, the pieces are taken to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where they are painted and sealed. The finished product is then delivered to the San Antonio Alamodome to be installed. The floor, which traveled approximately 3,000 miles is now ready to be seen by millions.
After a champion is crowned, the floor continues along a journey to its final destination. The winning school is given the opportunity to purchase or refuse the championship floor. Schools in the past have taken this opportunity to use the floor in locker room remodels, as practices courts, game courts, and even by selling pieces to fans so that they can fund different research initiatives.
While many people watch the game and see the floor in which history is being made, they will probably not be thinking about the time spent and long journey that was taken to get there. They will, however, enjoy its immaculate appearance which adds to the unique story that the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament brings every year.