Thousands of volunteers sign on to help during Final Four

U.S. Bank Stadium is once again preparing to catch the attention of the country. In February, it was the Super Bowl. This April, the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four takes over.

Monday at noon, with 118 days before the Final Four, the organizing committee opened up online registration for volunteers.

“We’ll have folks at the airport directing people to the light rail transportation downtown,” said Committee President Kate Mortenson. “Once downtown, we’ll have folks who are in the hotels, helping people navigate the skyways.”

In just hours, organizers met their goal of filling more than 2,000 positions for the four-day event.

“One key difference of the Final Four volunteer program is that there is no interview required,” said Mortenson. “They just sign up, create an account and immediately select your shifts for Final Four weekend.”

Like the Super Bowl earlier this year, the Final Four will attract tens of thousands of sports fans to the Twin Cities. Although some economists believe that the economic impact of huge sporting events is often overinflated, Mortenson anticipates a big win.

“We have done an economic impact study that shows about $142 million of additional money will come into our community over the four days of the Final Four,” said Mortenson.

Earlier this month, several college basketball games were played at U.S. Bank Stadium. While those who volunteer won't get anywhere near the action on the court, Mortenson says they will be part of history.

“We want Minnesotans to know that they are our secret sauce,” she said. “They are the warm welcome that begins when people get off the airplane to experience Minnesota, and they are what makes us truly proud of city, region and our state.”