Bye-Bye Rodeo, Hello NCAA

There’s no rest for crews at Reliant Park. The rodeo ended last night and workers immediately had to begin preparing for the NCAA men’s Sweet Sixteen Regional Basketball Finals. Bill Stamps has more.

Thousands attended the rodeo the past three weeks. Thousands more will be at Reliant Stadium this weekend for the NCAA Basketball Regional Finals –better known as the sweet sixteen. It’s going to take a lot of work to switch from a stadium full of dirt to a stadium ready for hoops.

Rodeo cleanup and NCAA Sweet 16 setup“Well, the first step is you get the dirt out. You get the rodeo gone. We’re putting in the temporary seats. It’s literally a changeover that involves thousands and thousands of pieces.”

Mark Miller is the general manager for Reliant Park. He knows the fans are coming and everything has to be ready. Friday’s match ups are Duke versus Purdue and Baylor versus St. Mary’s. The winners will face each other on Sunday. Miller says it’ll take anywhere from five to six hundred people to get Reliant ready in time.

“Probably a sixty to eighty hour process in all. They’ll be through Wednesday about noon before everything’s done. We still have all the dressing to do in the back of the house, get the dressing rooms ready, the media area ready. There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

All the work is good practice. This year the final four is in Indianapolis…but next year, it’ll be right here in Houston. And that’s as big as hosting the Super Bowl.

large scene of the Rodeo cleanup and the NCAA setup