Moving the Floor to the Final Four

A look at the logistics of delivering the Men's NCAA Final Four floor.

It’s a good bet that when Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Duke take to the court for the NCAA Men’s Final Four this weekend in Indianapolis, the last thing on the minds of the players will be the wood beneath their feet.

But if they only knew the lengths to which a 143-year-old business rooted in Amasa, Mich., went to source, build and transport college basketball’s most prestigious court to the site of the NCAA Final Four, they might have a greater appreciation for all that hardwood.

High-quality craftsmanship

Connor Sports Flooring, which since 2005 has provided the official playing surface of the NCAA Men’s Final Four, may not get even a mention in the media reports that will focus national and global attention on one of sports’ marquee events. But its commitment to quality workmanship and sustainability is well known in sports circles.

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When it comes to moving all that highly polished northern maple to the site of the Final Four, Connor Sports and the NCAA turn to UPS.

In addition to the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four, Connor also provides the playing surfaces for many of the world’s leading sports federations, from squash and handball to badminton and volleyball, as well as colleges and recreation departments.

From figuring it out to getting it done

And when it comes to moving all that highly polished northern maple to the site of the Final Four, Connor Sports and the NCAA turn to UPS.

Our relationship with Connor Sports began in 2012 with the UPS Entertainment Logistics team working hand in hand with theirs to determine the best cutting strategy, so the floor would fit easily into our tractor-trailers for a safe ride to its final destination. That same team also plays a much broader support role on-site in Indianapolis in helping to manage the transportation elements of the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

The rough-cut maple that would be turned into this year’s men’s Final Four court arrived at Connor Sports’ Amasa plant in December and was cut into widths of 2 and 1/4 inches. The court was then made portable by assembling it into 4’ X 7’ panels. Subflooring was put in place to provide the right balance of resilience and shock absorption to assure top performance and player safety.

In February the completed panels were stacked, banded and sent to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where the court was sanded, sealed, painted and finished. The floor’s portable sections were stacked under stringently controlled temperature and humidity to protect the integrity of the wood.

See you in Indy

Connor Sports and UPS kicked off NCAA March Madness with the Official Court Tour on March 18th, when the tour began its nine-stop journey from Shelley, Idaho, to its final stop in Indianapolis.

For UPS, helping Connor Sports become one of the unsung heroes of the NCAA Men’s Final Four is another example of solving some of our customers’ most challenging problems. goldbrown2



Ed Hennessy is Director of Entertainment Logistics at UPS.

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