City of Atlanta ready for Final Four weekend

11:31 PM, Apr 4, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA, Ga. --  After months of planning and preparation Final Four Weekend has arrived and the City of Atlanta is ready to play the role of host to one of American's premier sporting events.

Signs that Final Four time is here can been seen on the streets around in the area near the Georgia Dome and Centennial Olympic Park. 

Many of the streets near those venues had lanes closed today and tomorrow some of those streets will be closed to through traffic.

Meanwhile, inside the Georgia World Congress Center the finishing touches were being applied to Bracket Town, the ultimate Final Four Fanfest. In the atrium of the GWCC  Mayor Kasim Reed, Ambassador Andrew Young and tournament organizers spoke with to the media.

"Hosting large events is what we do best," said Mayor Reed.

"Some 100,000 guest will flow through our airport this week, and we will get to watch some of the best basketball in America."

The Final Four is about competition and sportsmanship, but the NCAA has also mandated that this weekend be about service. 

"On this 75th anniversary of the Final Four, our goal is to distribute 7500 pairs of shoes and 2500 boxes of food to local families in need", says Dan Gavitt, Vice President of Men's Basketball Championships for the NCAA.

1100 pairs of shoes were donated in northwest Atlanta.

Samaritan's Feet partnered with Buick to provide new shoes and food for children at Agape Community Center. 

Georgia State men's basketball coach Ron Hunter supports Samaritan's Feet and was delighted to see coaches and student athletes take advantage of an opportunity to serve.

"One of the things I tell players is its not about them. It's hard to tell 18 to 20-year-olds that it's not about them and that they should learn to serve and help someone", says Hunter. 

"I hope they will learn that what they give could impact the next generation".

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