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Phoenix prepares for 300,000 visitors during NCAA Final Four events

Phoenix is preparing for 300,000 downtown visitors in early April when the NCAA Men’s Final Four comes to the Valley. 

In addition to hosting a fan festival, Deputy City Manager John Chan says the convention center will welcome another group.

“The National Association of Basketball Coaches will also be hosting their annual convention and trade show at the convention center. The 5,000 coaches attending the NABC convention will be staying at hotels strategically located in downtown, and along the light rail corridor,” he said.

Hance Park will feature a free three-day music festival. That same week, the Diamondbacks and Suns will have home games, along with First Friday art walk on Roosevelt Row. State Farm Stadium in Glendale will host the NCAA games.

In advance of April’s event, local, state and federal agencies have conducted two exercises to discuss their roles and responses in case of an emergency. 

“To meet staffing demands, the department will once again employ alternative staffing options to include the use of Phoenix reserve officers, officers from outside jurisdictions and will leverage the use of civilian personnel as well as contract security provided by the NCAA,” said Brian Lee, who leads Phoenix’s Office of Emergency Management. “The number of police personnel assigned to find all four events will vary based on the days and times events are taking place in the downtown area.”

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