Sports, Parties, Mardi Gras, It's Always Exciting in New Orleans,
New Orleans has just survived a whirl wind of National sports activity with the NFL Saints playoff game, the BCS National Championship, the Sugar Bowl, the New Orleans Bowl and the ongoing Hornets basketball season. Now we are on the cusp of the Carnival Season culminating with Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday (February 21st).
The NCAA Men's Baskeball Championship
Shortly thereafter we can look forward to the NCAA men's basketball championship series known as the Final Four beginning March 31st and ending with the "Big Dance" on April 2nd. A countdown clock to the opening game will be placed on a billboard located on the corner of Canal and South Rampart Streets until the conclusion of the event. In the middle of all the fun is the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament on March 8-11. WOW! What a sports town.
We Welcome March Madness Again
The Crescent City last hosted the this series in 2003 and this will mark our 5th year as the host city. This time around the City is going all out to make it an extra special event for everyone. The SEC championship basketball game will be held in the New Orleans Arena which is adjacent to the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The Final Four with be played in the Dome. Talk about hoops fever.
Best of Sports Events
It has been said that the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is one of the greatest spectacles in all of sports. Schools from across the Nation battle it out to see who is the best. This is not like college football where opinions and computers decide who will play for the title. No sir, these teams battle down to the coveted Final Four and from there only the two best of the best will vie for the Championship. This is truly survival of the fittest. Underdogs, unexpected upsets and buzzer beaters all meld together to keep things exciting.
More Than Sports
One can not live by BB alone. This being the case there is much more to keep visitors and local occupied when not at the games. For one, there is Bracket Town called the fan's ultimate must-visit destination. It will be held at the Morial Convention Center and will offer 300,000 square feet of family friendly fun. There will be sport activity stations where you can test you athletic skills. You can also visit the Hall of Champions and view the championship trophy. You can witness a live fencing exhibition or, if you prefer, have a photo taken with you favorite Final Four team at the green screen booth.
Even better, you might want to meet former college stars and coaches at the autograph sessions. There will be daily youth clinics that you can sigh up for and watch unique performances on Bracket Town's very own Center Court. Of course team merchandize will be available to purchase and there will be areas where you can "test drive" the latest electronic games. You may also be fortunate enough to win on of the special giveaways being offered throughout the weekend.
The Big Dance Concert Series
If music is your forte, be sure to attend the Big Dance Concert Series. This is being held at Woldenberg Park which is located next to the Mississippi River and affords spectacular views. Admission is free and the music will be great. So why not take a break from sports and see and hear some of the greatest names in the music world? For those who just can not get enough of their favorite sport you can remain after the concert on Saturday the 31st for a special viewing party of the semifinal game on the big screen.
Of course food and beverages will be available for you pleasure.
March Madness Freebies
Sometime during all of this March Madness the NCAA and the National Association of Basketball Coaches will distribute 2,012 pairs of shoes and 2,012 box lunches to needy children and their families. The NCAA and Tulane University will join forces for a Final Four Dribble whereby 3,000 basketballs will be given to kids under 18 who will be invited to dribble from Champions Square to the Convention Center. What a sight that is going to be.
All the Information You Need
Because of New Orleans' unique geography, all of these venues are within walking distance, taxi or even pedicabs. Getting around so easily is just one of the City's benefits. For information about the Final Four a line has been set up and is available from 6:30 a.m. until 5:30p.m. That number is (504) 587-8830 and will be in service until the conclusion of the event. Go to the official website for all the details.
Want to Volunteer?
The NOLOC is currently accepting volunteers who would like to be a part of the excitement by staffing various events. If you are interested you can visit this website.