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North Texas Showing Signs That Final Four Is Finally Here

By Joel Thomas CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COM
(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – From Dallas to Arlington to Fort Worth, there are signs that the upcoming Final Four NCAA games are near.

Visitors to AT&T Stadium could see the preparations around them as they entered and recognized this may be a chance to redeem a reputation tarnished by unexpected harsh winter storms when the area hosted a Super Bowl.

“I think its awesome!” said Reginald Brown, a north Texas resident visiting the stadium. “You know we had the superbowl here and I think it will give us a little rebound with all the ice storms and stuff. You know, I think this is a big thing for us.”

And AT&T stadium is dressed for a national audience. Its draped and surrounded in colorful art and tents for pregame activities. and its even sporting its new logos on the roof for the aerial shots.

Sundance Square and downtown Fort Worth are preparing for just as much exposure. The foundations for ESPN’s special, final four soundstage were laid today. Sundance Square officials say ESPN liked the back drop of downtown and the high amount of foot traffic they had when they broadcast here during the superbowl. So, beginning Friday, Fort Worth will begin enforcing a so-called clean zone around the square. It will limit activities such as street vending, construction and outdoor signs to ensure a nice backdrop is maintained all the way through Monday nights television coverage.

And in Dallas, the groundwork was finished on what will be one of the lasting impacts of the final four visit.

The NCAA funded what’s called a green basketball court. Its made of 99% recycled materials and is a soft, green, plyable mat laid out to form a court.

The goal is to raise awareness of recycling and offer the martin luther king community center where it was built new opportunities for youth programs.

“After the NCAA leaves North Texas, what are all of us going to do?” former Dallas Maverick Rolando Blackman asked the small crowd that gathered for the court’s dedication. “How are we going to put our best foot forward to be able to impact the kids, the boys and girls in this society to be able to move forward?”

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