Source: Connor Sports
HOUSTON (March 25, 2016) – As basketball fans across the nation fill out brackets and eagerly await the start of the annual NCAA Basketball Tournament, Connor Sports® is preparing for March Madness® by manufacturing and installing the official courts for the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, which culminate with the Final Four®.
As the Official Court Builder of the NCAA Final Four, Connor Sports will provide and install NCAA courts for the 1st and 2nd Round games and Regionals for the 2016 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament. Connor Sports will also provide a custom-created court for the Men’s Final Four to be played April 2-4 at NRG Stadium in Houston, and the Women's Final Four® on April 3-5 at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. This year marks the 11th year that Connor Sports has been the Official Court Builder for the NCAA Final Four®.
Connor Sports manufactures their QuickLock® portable floors annually for installation at both the men's and women's regionals and Final Four tournament venues each year. Additionally, the NCAA uses nine courts from Connor Sports that are maintained to the highest standards and installed by Connor for the first and second rounds of men’s tournament play annually.
Link to time-lapse video of the making of the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four Official Court
"We look forward to participating in the Final Four tournament every year and take role in the success of the NCAA very seriously. As a Champion of Customer, we strive to provide the NCAA with the best logistical and technical support throughout the tournament, enabling the NCAA to focus on providing a memorable experience for fans, teams, volunteers and employees," said Ron Cerny, CEO, Connor Sport Court International. "We are very proud to again be the Official Court for the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments.”
The 2016 Final Four courts are made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified first-grade Northern Hard Maple sourced from Michigan forests including the Nature Conservancy®-owned Big Two Hearted Nature Preserve and is 70’ X 140’ and totals 9,800 square feet using 397 4’ x 7’ panels weighing approximately 188 pounds each or 37 tons in total. The Women’s Final Four surface is also FSC-certified and measures 60’ x 120’ at 7,200 square feet with 262 4’ x 7’ panels at more than 24 tons in total.
Prior to the Final Four, the courts were manufactured and inspected at the Connor Sport mill in Amasa, MI in the fall of 2015. The floor panels were stacked and banded in January and then loaded onto a UPS® (NYSE: UPS) trailer and shipped to Connor’s valued finishing partners: Praters Athletic Flooring in
Chattanooga, TN for the men’s court, and The Ohio Flooring Co. in Shreve, OH for the women’s court. The courts are then assembled, sanded, sealed and painted before being loaded and finally delivered by UPS in special, NCAA Final Four graphically-branded trailers to each Final Four location stadium. Each floor takes approximately five hours to install led by Connor Sports Technical Supervisors and a team of 10-12 local workers.
Installation for the Men’s Final Four court in Houston will take place beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, March 25 and is open to the media. The installation for the Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis will take place in the early morning on Thursday, April 1 and will also be open to the media.
In addition to the Final Four competition, Connor Sports will provide two hardwood courts for the Capital One® Fan Fest and Connor Sport Court International’s Sport Court® brand will provide all synthetic basketball surfaces used at the NCAA Fan Fest and Bracket Town.
The NCAA Final Four courts for Connor Sports Environmental Responsibility
•In 2009 an independent environmental engineering firm audited and designated Connor Sports a “Zero Waste Company.”
•As a member of the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA), Connor adheres to the strict grading and quality standards of that organization.
•Maple hardwood used in the courts is from a renewable resource, with the U.S. growing six times more hardwood than is harvested each year.
•Connor recycles 99% of its waste material and offers wood that is Forest Stewardship Council-certified. The FSC mark represents products from well-managed forests.
•Connor was the first MFMA member to be certified by the Rainforest Alliance, and is the only independently certified Zero Waste sports flooring manufacturer.
About Connor Sport Court International / www.connorsports.com
More athletic events are played on Connor Sport Court surfaces than on any other sports flooring in the world. Founded in 1872, Connor Sports floors have established themselves as the standard for professional and collegiate sports. Hardwood used in the courts is from a renewable resource, with the U.S. growing six times more hardwood than is harvested each year. Sport Court® is a registered trade mark of Connor Sport Court International. Since 1974, it has identified the original and authentic modular sport surface, continuously improved and patented to provide the highest levels of quality and performance. Connor Sport Court is proud to be the only sports surfacing company in the world that is independently audited and verified as "Zero Waste" and fully ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001 certified.
Connor Sports is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/connorsports and on Twitter @Connor_Sports.