Connors to provide official courts for March Madness
AMASA—As the excitement of NCAA March Madness tipped off last week, Connor Sports, a Gerflor company, once again has provided the official courts for the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, culminating in the Final Four.
The “Official Court Supplier of the NCAA Final Four” since 2006, Connor Sports will provide the new, custom courts for the 2019 Men’s Final Four to be played April 6 and April 8 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, and for the Women’s Final Four on April 5 and April 7 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. In addition to the men’s and women’s Final Four, Connor Sports will provide new courts for the men’s and women’s regional games and for the showcase courts at the Men’s Final Four Fan Fest.
“Connor Sports will again play a critical role in the 2019 March Madness, and we view our ‘champion of customer’ role for the NCAA very importantly,” said Doug Grove of Connor Sports. “The manufacturing and finishing process of 11 new high-quality, custom hardwood basketball courts and the complex, just-in-time logistics of delivering and installing a total of 20 courts across the nation for the NCAA is a challenge that we at Connor Sports welcome and strive to execute to the highest standards.”
Connor Sports manufactures the 11 new, custom-built QuickLock portable floors annually for installation at both the men’s and women’s regionals and Final Four tournament venues each year as well as the fan event courts. Additionally, the NCAA uses nine courts from Connor Sports that are maintained to the highest standards and installed by Connor for the First Four and the first and second rounds of men’s tournament play annually.
The 2019 Men’s Final Four court is made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified first-grade Northern Hard Maple and is 70 feet by 140 feet and totals 9,800 square feet using 397 4-foot by 7-foot panels weighing approximately 188 pounds each, or more than 37 tons, in total. The women’s Final Four surface is also FSC-certified and measures 60 feet by 120 feet at 7,200 square feet with 262 4-foot by 7-foot panels at more than 24 tons in total.
The courts were manufactured and inspected at the Connor Sports mill in Amasa in the fall of 2018. The floor panels were stacked and banded in January of 2019 and then shipped to Connor’s finishing partners for assembly, sanding, sealing, and painting before being loaded and finally delivered to each regional or Final Four venue or fan event location. Each court takes approximately four hours to install, led by Connor Sports technical supervisors and a team of 10-12 local workers.
In addition to the tournament courts, Gerflor’s Sport Court brand will provide all Maple Select and Response HG modular sports surfaces used by NCAA corporate champions and partners at the official men’s and women’s Final Four fan events to engage fans in a variety of basketball-themed skills and activities.