MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Saturday night, the first two teams are going to punch their tickets to Minneapolis for the Final Four.

The games start in less than a week, and the city is busy preparing for the excitement.

Nicollet Mall will close Monday so crews can start building a stage and Ferris wheel.

The Final Four events kick off on Friday. Jack Bernstein, with the Minneapolis Final Four Local Organizing Committee, says that’s the big day.

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“I would say, if fans can remember one day, it’s Friday, April 5,” Bernstein said. “Final Four Friday at the stadium, that’s a free event to see the four teams practice from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Fan Fest presented by Capital One at the Convention Center, not to mention the three biggest games of the year at U.S. Bank Stadium.”

All of the activities on Nicollet Mall will officially open to the public on Friday as well.

The Committee says the three games will bring 94,000 people to downtown Minneapolis and pump $148 million into the local economy.

The businesses on Nicollet Mall are gearing up for plenty of people.

“We are planning ahead, mainly the staffing is the big thing, trying to get as many employees ready and able to work over that weekend,” said Shane Higgins, general manager at Brit’s Pub. He is expecting a crowd similar to the Super Bowl during the Final Four.

Katie Steiner