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With March Madness Comes Hard Maple Flooring for Final Four

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March 19, 2021 | Bill Esler

Court shot of the 2019 Mens NCAA Championship

Connor Sports Flooring renewed an expanded contract with NCAA, providing both the Men’s (in Indianapolis) and Women’s (in San Antonio) Final Four Basketball courts, plus additional venues due to COVID-19.

Indianapolis, IN – NCAA Men’s Basketball March Madness is back, and with it  return the hard maple basketball courts made by Connor Sports Flooring International, based in Amasa, MI.

The NCAA renewed its Official Court partnership agreement with Connor Sports through 2025, to include the manufacture, installation and technical management of all hardwood surfaces for the men’s (in Indianapolis, IN) and women’s (in San Antonio, TX) basketball championships, which includes two courts each for both Final Fours. 

Connor mill

But the contract was expanded to include basketball courts in other Indianapolis and San Antonio area locations, as part of the NCAA strategy to have all the teams inhabit a “bubble” in each city as a protection against exposure to COVID-19 infection. For men’s basketball, a dozen of the 67 games were held in West Lafayette and Bloomington, IN, about an hour away from Indianapolis, where 55 games were scheduled for Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, and Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

Connor-floor being finished

The partnership agreement for Connor Sports began in 2006. But this time it includes Gerflor USA’s Sport Court indoor modular sports system to produce playing surfaces for all NCAA DI, DII and DIII women’s volleyball championships as well as the national collegiate and DIII men’s volleyball championships. Gerflor acquired Connor Sports in 2014. 

Connor overview of plant

The 2021 Men’s Final Four court is made from sustainably-harvested Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified first-grade northern hard maple. The courts were manufactured and inspected at the Connor Sports mill (above) in Amasa.

The floor panels were stacked and banded and then shipped to Connor’s finishing partners for assembly, sanding, sealing, painting, and finishing before being loaded and shipped to each venue. Each court takes approximately four hours to install, led by Connor Sports Technical Supervisors and a team of local workers.

2019 NCAA Womens Championship at the Alamodome

“Gerflor USA is extremely pleased to continue our partnership role as Official Court to the NCAA,” says Benjamin Bachman, CEO, Gerflor USA. “We strive for continuous improvement of our manufacturing research and development processes and court installation practices for our Connor Sports and Sport Court brands to provide NCAA student-athletes the optimum health, safety and wellness during practice, performance and play.”

Gerflor USA is the U.S. subsidiary of multinational flooring firm Gerflor Group, headquartered in Villeurbanne, France. In 2019 Gerflor Group employed 4,000, operating 12 plants, five technology centers, and 26 subsidiaries in 100 countries. Turnover was €1,003 billion Euros, with 70% of it outside France. Gerflor Group business produce primarily resilient vinyl flooring. Gerflor Group made its first venture into wood flooring with its 2014 acquisition of Connor Sport Court International. 

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