Details are emerging on plans for the 2020 Final Four at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, as organizers prepare to stage the event there for the first time.
Since opening as home of the Falcons and MLS’s United in 2017, Mercedes-Benz Stadium has been the site of some notable events–including last February’s Super Bowl. April will mark another chapter in the facility’s event history, as it will welcome the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Final Four.
Leading up to the Final Four, NCAA and Atlanta Basketball Host Committee officials are preparing to implement several important measures at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Those will include installing an elevated court and an elaborate temporary seating arrangement, along with adding a center-hung videoboard above midcourt. With an expected total capacity of over 80,000, Mercedes-Benz Stadium could allow for a new all-time attendance record for the event to be set when it takes place. More from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution:
An elevated basketball court will be placed in the center of what is normally the stadium’s football or soccer field. A center-hung scoreboard, weighing 140,000 pounds, will be installed 100 feet above the court and 100 feet below the stadium’s famous halo-shaped video board. An elaborate temporary seating system, containing about 25,000 seats, will be installed over much of the existing lower bowl to improve basketball sight-lines and extend seats to the court.
The NCAA uses variations of the portable seating system at the Final Four each year. But the “geometry” of Mercedes-Benz Stadium will require a larger “build-out” than previous Final Fours, Carl Adkins, executive director of the Atlanta host committee, said.
The stadium is expected to have a Final Four capacity of more than 80,000, which would put the event in position to break its all-time attendance record.
The 2020 Final Four will begin with the semifinals on April 4, followed by the national championship on April 6. It will mark the first time that Atlanta has hosted the Final Four since the event was staged at the Georgia Dome, the Falcons’ home from 1992-2016, in 2013.
Rendering courtesy Atlanta Basketball Host Committee.
RELATED STORIES: Planning the 2020 Final Four at Mercedes-Benz Stadium