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Behind the scenes: Shuttling 2,600 employees to Alamodome for Final Four

24-hour operation will get workers to dome, where NCAA is using all space

SAN ANTONIO – Final Four tournaments have become such big productions, the NCAA has to take up a lot of space inside stadiums such as the Alamodome. That means there's no room at the dome for more than 2,600 employees to park, check in or get ready at the dome.

Most people view the Final Four tournament as a polished, glamorous event. 

"We like to think of it as the serene duck gliding across the pond, and we're the feet thrashing around underneath," said Bill Hanson, with the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee. 

For the next five days, Hanson will be at Nelson Wolff Stadium, coordinating more than 2,600 employees and making sure they get to work on time. 

"About 4:30 Saturday morning, which is the first game day, and then extending almost through 2:30 on the following Tuesday morning, it will be pretty close to a 24-hour operation," Hanson said.

Hanson has worked every Final Four tournament in San Antonio, and this is the first time employees weren't allowed to check in at the Alamodome.

"All the operational areas that these vendors had goes to some other function of the NCAA," he said.

Nelson Wolff Stadium is about 11 miles away from the Alamodome. Each trip takes about 15 minutes without traffic.

Hanson is coordinating more than transportation. He pointed to four large white tents at the corner of the parking lot.

"So, we have janitorial and security and ushering and concessions. All the employees will come here. They will check in. They'll get their badges," he said.

The tents are each connected to storage pods, where all the different employees can pick up their uniforms and badges.

Hanson expects, at some hours, hundreds of employees will show up to Wolff Stadium at the same time. 

"I'm doing this on a volunteer basis, so somebody owes me a lot of golf and a few beers after this is over," he said.

After this whirlwind of a weekend, he may just need it.


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