DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – When college basketball fans from all over the U.S. descend on North Texas next month for the Final Four, music lovers will have something to look forward to as well.
The NCAA March Madness Music Festival will run Friday, April 4 through Sunday, April 6, and the headliners were announced today.
The lineup includes Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band, country stars Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean, rock band The Killers, and pop group fun. More names will be added as the dates get closer.
To be held at Reunion Park, the location for the three-day concert series has nostalgic significance.
The last and only time North Texas hosted the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four was in 1986 at Reunion Arena. The old arena is demolished, but the grassy lawn in its place will host the concert, 28 years later.
“It just shows that this is an event for all people. There’s definitely something for everyone. The chance to have a free event is really significant. When you take a look at Tim McGraw, The Killers, fun., or Bruce Springsteen, you’re really covering a broad base of interest. I think everyone should have a great weekend,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, Chair of the North Texas Local Organizing Committee.
00:02:25 everyone has worked real hard to make sure this event will be spectacular and we don’t want to host it just one time. We want them to keep coming back to north texas and I think between the hospitality and the events that are going to happen that they’ll want to come back as soon as they can.
Tickets will be free, but limited to first come, first serve. The concert series has been a part of the final weekend of the tournament for the last few years.
At the 2013 March Madness Music Festival in Atlanta, the concert was so popular, the park filled up to the point that some people couldn’t get in for the final show.
Reunion Park will hold approximately 30,000 to 40,000 people, and restrooms, food and drink vendors will be on site. Crews will begin setting up for the concert on March 21st.
Just half a mile away in the West End, business owners are expecting some of the music-loving crowd to make their way over before and after the shows.
People are encouraged to take DART or walk to the concerts.
Joe Groves is co-owner of Ellen’s, a restaurant and coffee shop in the West End. As President of the West End Association, Groves says his fellow merchants always look forward to events like this, for the spike in visiting traffic.
“Every time there’s a big event, we get people who haven’t been here before. There’s nothing more gratifying than to ask someone ‘how did you hear about us?’ and to hear them say ‘we were down here for Texas/OU Weekend, or the NCAA, or even a Mary Kay convention. That tells us it works,” said Groves.
A spokesperson for the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau says hotels are already filling up throughout North Texas.
AT&T Stadium is anticipating approximately 80,000 people for both days of the Final Four.
“Everyone has worked real hard to make sure this event will be spectacular. We don’t want to host it just one time. We want them to keep coming back to North Texas. I think between the hospitality and the events that are going to happen, they’ll want to come back as soon as they can,” Anderson said.
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