Final Four countdown is on in Arizona

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It's a warm welcome for the Tar Heels

Phoenix is preparing to roll out the welcome mat for Final Four fans.

Crews were busy Wednesday putting the finishing touches on venues around the city set to boast a ton of entertainment in the coming days.


Signs are displayed around the Valley. Even the city's light rail is decked out for the Final Four.

"The Road to the Final Four literally ends in Phoenix," said Valley Metro Authority spokesperson Ann Glaser.



"I know North Carolinians are very much southern hospitality, and we are so excited to welcome Tar Heel fans here," said Glaser.

More than 100,000 visitors are expected to pack into downtown, and fans will have plenty of activities to keep them busy.

Final Four Fan Fest tips off Friday at the Phoenix Convention Center.

The four-day festival will be jam-packed with youth clinics, giveaways, concerts, interactive games, special appearances, and autograph signings.

Outside, a giant 3-D bracket is displayed with the Final Four teams vying for the national title.

"It's really a fun place for fans to stop and get a shot of their favorite team and really tells the story so well of each region," said Phoenix Local Organizing Committee Executive Director Dawn Rogers.

At nearby Hance Park, visitors can attend free concerts beginning Friday at March Madness Music Festival which promises a star-studded lineup including Keith Urban, The Chainsmokers, and Aerosmith.

This is the first time Phoenix has hosted a Final Four, but the city is no stranger to hosting major sporting events.

Phoenix has also hosted a Super Bowl and College Football Playoff.

The city has been planning nearly two years for the Final Four, advertising across the state and the country.

Leaders hope it's a slam dunk for local businesses, aiming to pull in more than $275 million in economic benefits.

"All of those folks are local people that are working and businesses that are benefitting from putting on these different events, it's so much more than just a basketball game," said Rogers.

The UNC Tarheels rolled into Phoenix late Tuesday night.

The team is looking for redemption in back-to-back Final Fours after last year's loss to Villanova.

UNC faces off against Oregon Saturday night.

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