More than 75,000 fans were in town for the NCAA men’s basketball championship weekend — the Final Four — and Houston’s airports kept up with the run-and-fun pace.
The Houston Airport System pulled into first gear with the teams' arrival in Houston at Ellington Airport on March 30. Important operational and security plans are coordinated to ensure a smooth process and the preparation for this weekend began in early 2015.
"We are a big southern town with plenty of hospitality, and we want people to really enjoy themselves," Mayor Sylvester Turner said.
An army of volunteers helped welcome supporters from all four schools both at George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and William P. Hobby (HOU) airports. They were on hand to help with information about the game, transportation and more.
Signage and information locations were established throughout both airports to provide information about Houston and the events before, during and after the game — Final Four Fan Fest, March Madness Music Festival, and Final Four Friday, among other championship related events being held throughout the city.
The airport system’s third facility, Ellington Airport, handled the arrival of the teams from the four schools — North Carolina, Oklahoma, Villanova and Syracuse — as well as the support team from the NCAA.
This was the third time City of Houston has hosted the Final Four — the last was 2011 — and two of the three largest crowds in championship weekend history to attend the semifinal games were at NRG Stadium. The 2011 Final Four set a record for attendance for all three games, at more than 145,000 fans.
To see more of the team arrivals at Ellington Airport, please click here.