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How hosting NCAA Final Four will impact Phoenix hotels, sustainability

Preparations are underway for the Valley to host the NCAA Men’s Final Four. The last four teams remaining in college basketball’s playoff tournament will face off in Glendale in early April, and Phoenix will also get in on the action.

When the Valley last hosted the Final Four in 2017, organizers said more than 300,000 people attended downtown events. Jay Parry, with the local organizing committee, told council members they expect Phoenix hotels to book 22,658 room nights with an average daily rate of $359.

“The reason we do these major events is it is the way to put Arizona and especially Phoenix on the global platform. It is an enormous commercial. I've heard from our tourism partners and our economic development partners, we cannot buy the type of exposure that these major events provide to us,” Parry said.

The Phoenix Convention Center will host a fan fest, while Margaret T. Hance Park will be the site of a free music festival. No performers have yet been announced. 

When it comes to sustainability, the goal is a “zero waste” event, which means at least 90% of waste must be diverted from landfills.

“After the event has concluded, we will collect décor, lumber, carpet signs, St. Paul banners, you name it, we will collect it,” Parry said, “And then that gets redistributed and reused and repurposed by local organizations, as well as we turn it into recycled products as well.”

The Final Four teams will play at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Saturday, April 6. The NCAA Men’s Championship game will be played in Glendale on Monday, April 8.

Phoenix events will take place from April 5 to 8.

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As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.