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What it took to bring the Final Four to Houston

It's the fourth time Houston has taken on host duties for the final round of March Madness.

HOUSTON — The NCAA men's Final Four will be played in Houston starting April 1, but it took years of planning to get the tournament to the Bayou City.

It's the fourth time the Bayou City has hosted the finale of March Madness.

Holly Kesterson, the president of the Houston Local Organizing Committee, told KHOU 11 News anchor Rekha Muddaraj that collaboration is the key to putting on the citywide event.

“We’re talking multiple venues, different city services -- so much goes into a major event like this,” Kesterson said.

This year, a mostly women-led team coordinated everything from the bidding process to tip-off.

“It’s a female-driven project this go around, so it is exceptional," Kesterson said.

Games will be played at NRG Stadium, the fan fest will be at the George R. Brown Convention Center and Discovery Green will host free concerts for three nights.

"Three nights of A-list concerts coming downtown and for free," Kesterson said.

Kesterson said proximity to venues is why Houston is an ideal host city.

“For people traveling to Houston, for things to be centralized and easy to access means it will be a great experience,” Kesterson said.

Kesterson said collaboration is the key to putting on the citywide event -- from the bidding process all the way to tipoff.

"This event has grown quite a bit," VO of External Operations Rachel Quan said. "Our team has grown quite a bit to make sure we have all of our bases covered."

She knows what it takes, too. This is her fifth time planning Final Four events and she's figured out the formula for success.

"You need to have a lot of patience," Quan said.

Even if you can't make it to a game, Quan and Kesterson promise everyone will have a chance to be a part of the action.

Visit ncaa.com/mensfinalfour for tickets.

And if you want to know the performers at the March Madness Music Festival as soon as they're announced, you can register to be notified here

For more information on how to volunteer, visit NCAA.com/mensfinalfour.

Rekha Muddaraj on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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