North Texas braces for big Final Four events

Bracket Town

Credit: Michael Richard / WFAA

Basketballs are ready for visitors to the NCAA Bracket Town event at the Dallas Convention Center.

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by JASON WHEELER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwheelertv

WFAA

Posted on April 2, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 4 at 4:19 PM

Forget the journey the teams had to make to get here; your road to the Final Four could be pretty tough, too.

While some will take mass transit to the big games this weekend, many thousands will be driving to AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Officials say they do have a parking plan to keep the traffic moving around the facility and into parking spaces.

Traffic is also a concern in downtown Dallas.

At the Dallas Convention Center, there has been steady progress in the march to what will truly be madness.

"It will not be quiet," promised Elan Erner, a member of the local Final Four organizing committee. "It will be constant dribbling and sneaker-squeaks!"

Starting Friday and through the weekend, the convention center will have just about all the hoops you can handle.

"I wouldn't be shocked if there were not over 100 basketball goals inside this building right now,” Werner said.

The experience will also include autograph signings and many interactive stations for other sports, including football, hockey and soccer.

If music is more your thing, Reunion Park (the grassy area where Reunion Arena used to be) is the place for that Friday through Sunday, with free concerts scheduled all weekend.

"There's a ton of adrenaline, because there is so much going on. It's more than a basketball game... it's an event," said Rob Scichili of the local organizing committee. He said the lawn at Reunion Park can handle up to 50,000 people a day for the concerts featuring big-name artists, including Bruce Springsteen.

How will they all get there?

“We're telling people DART is the best option," Scichili said.

DART is preparing to move 100,000 people a day, adding trains and extending service hours.

Union Station and the Convention Center Station are right in the thick of the action. The West End stop is just a short walk away.

DART warns regular commuters that things could get crowded, there may be some lost out-of-towners, and possibly some spirited basketball fans who’ve taken one too many shots of another kind.

E-mail jwheeler@wfaa.com

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