AMASA, Mi. - For the 13th year in a row, Michigan's Connor Sports will provide the official basketball courts for this year's NCAA March Madness Final Four Tournament. Eleven custom-built and portable courts are currently in production.
How do they do it?
Lumber was harvested in September - left to dry for months in order to attain 6 to 9 percent moisture levels. In March, it's cut to the same width and thickness and inspected for quality. It's then milled for smoothness and assembled into panels. Every panel is cut to the same size and transported to a separate plant for sanding and finishing. More than 125 employees work in production.
"We're making flooring from rough lumber that we bring in from a various number of sawmills from the U.P. (Michigan's upper peninsula). We're making flooring into strips then we're panelizing those into what you would see as a portable floor panel or portable floor court, used for the tournaments," Connor's technical director Jason Gasperich told KRON4 News.
Connor Sports has built maple hardwood courts for 12 NBA teams and hundreds of NCAA universities and high schools. It has designed more sports surfacing systems than any other company.
Connor says its March Madness game courts contain over 110,000 square feet of 4,000 4x7-foot panels – weighing 188 pounds each for a total of over 150,000 pounds.
One of the company’s most popular courts is its Green Play flooring system. Green Play offers a resilient anchored floor system featuring a subfloor and cushion design that Connor says enhances play for athletic activities. The floor features maple flooring, recycled heavy-duty engineered polymer subfloor panels, recycled Rezill pads, 16 gauge anchor clips, steel anchors, sanding, sealers, finishes, game lines and a wall base.
This year, the men's Final Four is in Minneapolis. The women's is in Tampa.
Founded in 1872, Connor Sports was the first to manufacture modular sport surfaces for outdoor and indoor athletics. Connor Sports has 250 employees and two manufacturing sites in the United States.
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