PHOENIX - The NCAA Final Four comes to Arizona this week!
With that comes Fan Fest at Phoenix Convention Center, a free three-day music festival at Margaret T. Hance Park and, of course, the semifinals and championship games at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
There are several parking structures, meters and paid lots around Phoenix. However, it should be assumed that they will fill-up quickly. Make sure to bring cash for paid lots.
Phoenix also has a Light Rail system that can take you from Tempe and Mesa to downtown Phoenix for Fan Fest and the music festival. The Light Rail cannot take you to Glendale or University of Phoenix Stadium. However, Valley Metro will have a shuttle service (fee required) to get to the game (details below). View Valley Metro's website.
Important light rail stops:
Fan Fest | Third Street and Washington for Westbound traffic. Eastbound traffic will want Third Street and Jefferson.
March Madness Music Festival | Your stop will be either Roosevelt and Central Avenue or McDowell and Central Avenue.
All-day fare is $4.
Service hours: March 31 & April 1: Servuce runs until 2 a.m. April 2 & 3: Service runs until midnight.
Shuttle service to the game: For Final Four Friday, Semifinals and the championship game, Valley Metro will have a shuttle service to University of Phoenix Stadium. The bus will pick fans up at the Park-and-Ride at 19th Avenue and Montebello. Fare required.
March 31 - Shuttle runs every 30 minutes, 9 a.m. - 11 p.m.
April 1 & 3 - Shuttle runs every 30 minutes, noon to 11 p.m.
Free parking: Valley Metro has 11 park-and-ride lots around the Valley with more than 4,500 spaces available. View list of lot locations.
According to the City of Phoenix, certain areas in downtown Phoenix are designated pick-up and drop-off locations for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, and taxis.
Jefferson Street - Second to First avenues
Fifth Street - Monroe to Van Buren streets
Third Street - Jackson to Buchanan streets
Monroe Street - Second to Third streets
First Street - Monroe to Van Buren streets
'CLEAR BAG' POLICY IN EFFECT
The 'clear bag' policy that many sports teams have adopted recently will be in effect for all Final Four-related events. This includes all activities at Phoenix Fan Fest, March Madness Music Festival and University of Phoenix Stadium. Details here.
Clear bags must be 12" x 6" x 12" or gallon-sized storage bag
Small clutch, purses allowed. There are size restrictions.
Prohibited: backpacks, large purses, camera bags, binoculars cases, fanny packs, seat cushions, diaper bags, plastic bags with printed patterns, guns.
FINAL FOUR FAN FEST (MARCH 31 - APRIL 3)
Fan Fest will take over the Phoenix Convention Center, March 31 - April 3. There will be children's basketball clinics, rock climbing, autograph signings and guest appearances. Purchase tickets. There are parking lots around the Convention Center. Bring cash for those lots.
Where: Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. Third Street, Phoenix AZ 85004
March 31: noon to 8 p.m.
April 1: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
April 2: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
April 3: noon to 6 p.m.
Admission: $10 - adults, $5 - seniors & military. Children 12 and under free when accompanied by ticketed adult.
ASU, NAU, UA, GCU students: Bring your ID for free admission on Sunday, April 3 or $5 admission on Friday, Saturday or Monday.
Capital One cardholders: Show your card at the ticket counter and receive two free admission tickets.
The following will have autograph sessions:
Christian Laettner (former teammate of ASU coach Bobby Hurley)
David Robinson (NBA legend)
Sean Elliott (former UA/Spurs player)
Devin Booker (current Sun)
Cedric Ceballos (former Sun)
Jake Lamb (current D-back)
Miles Simon (won '97 championship at UA)
Shawn Marion (former Sun)
Steve Nash (former Sun)
Mike Bibby (won '97 championship at UA)
Tyler Ulis (current Sun)
MARCH MADNESS MUSIC FESTIVAL (MARCH 31 - APRIL 2)
The three-day free music festival will take over Margaret T. Hance Park in central Phoenix, March 31 - April 2. Keith Urban, The Chainsmokers, Aerosmith, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are scheduled to headline. You will want to get to the park early to secure a good spot.
Fans will be able to watch the South Carolina Gamecocks, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Oregon Ducks and North Carolina Tarheels practice on the court at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Admission and parking are free. View details.
10 a.m. | Doors open
10:30 a.m. - 10:55 a.m | Hardwood Heroes Game
11 a.m. | South Carolina practice
12 p.m. | Gonzaga Bulldogs practice
1 p.m. | Oregon Ducks practice
2 p.m. | North Carolina practice
From noon to 1 p.m. the All-Star team will sign autographs. The All-Star game starts at 3:30 p.m.
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale AZ 85305
Time: 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
With a big event such as the Final Four in town, you can expect security to be beefed up at all the big events such as Fan Fest, March Madness Music Festival and University of Phoenix Stadium.
The FBI's Phoenix Office told media this week that there are "no current, credible threats" against any of the planned activities. City leaders encouraged everyone to come out to the event, but to be vigilant. If you see something that looks out of place, say something.
Metal detectors and security screenings will take place at all Final Four-related events. The events will also follow the widely-adopted "clear bag" policy.