MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Things are getting real at U.S. Bank Stadium – the Final Four floor is now in place for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The tournament kicks off next weekend. The Vikings home field is now officially a basketball arena.

Crews started right around 8 a.m. Connor Sports of Chicago created the hard maple masterpiece.

“It’s really cool to be in the middle of this and play a meaningful and visible role in the whole thing,” said Brian Klein, who works with the company.

The company tried to harvest Minnesota lumber for the court.

“It was a little tricky to do because we had some wet weather up here and it was hard for loggers to be able to get in and get the raw materials out,” Klein said.

So they had to use Wisconsin wood.

“Yeah, it was harvested from just a few hours here so it’s pretty local,” Klein said.

Over the past five months, the wood has been conditioned and tested.

“Humidity testing and dimension testing to make sure the product is super stable and to make sure we have a high degree of performance and flatness and ball response and predictability and performance for the athletes,” Klein added.

The entire court is made up of 397 4-by-7 panels. They each weigh 188 pounds.

And just like that, after a few hours, the final flour of the tournament is in place.

After the last game is over, the entire floor gets packed up and it goes to the winning team and they can do whatever they want with it.

The company that made the Final Four court made the floors for the entire tournament and they make the floors for the NBA.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield