A long hardwood journey

A long hardwood journey: How the Final Four court was built from scratch

From Tree to Tipoff

From deep in a Michigan forest to University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, the floor at this weekend's Men's Final Four has completed a cross-country journey, lasting nearly five months.

 

Harvesting

In a 24,000-acre forest, foresters select 500 sugar maples. Using a tanklike machine with rollers and chainsaws, the trees are sustainably harvested and chopped into as many 8-foot pieces as possible.

 

HOW MUCH WOOD IS USED TO MAKE THE FLOOR?

500   TREES HARVESTED       418  PANELS OF WOOD    10  MILES OF BOARDS

 

Creating the Floor Panels

In a Michigan mill, trees are debarked, cut to planks and dried. To create the strongest floor, boards are staggered, like building an oversized floor at a home.

 

THE WORK THAT GOES INTO THE FLOOR

125   WORKER    144   DAYS    207,360   MINUTES

 

Layout, Painting & Staining

Planks are shipped to Idaho, sanded and measured. The floor becomes a giant paint-by-numbers picture. Every inch is stained, and, using NCAA graphics as stencils, the floor is painted.

 

WHAT BRINGS THE FLOOR DESIGN TO LIFE?

9,800   SQ FT OF FLOOR    14   DIFFERENT COLORS   13.25 GALLONS OF STAIN   4.5  GALLONS OF PAINT  80.5  GALLONS OF FINISH

     

    Installation

    Arriving on two 18-wheelers, the floor is assembled in Glendale using a pin-and-hole system. The floor is then altered to accommodate the sidelines and baselines. Then it's time for basketball.

     

     

     

    Tipoff

    For the first game on the Final Four court, South Carolina tips off against Gonzaga.

     

    THE WORK AND THE REWARD

    39.3  TONS   5   HOURS TO INSTALL  3  GAMES