With Katy Perry announced as the first of three headliners for the Final Four’s music series in downtown Minneapolis in April, it looks like the concerts around the big tournament will feature the big-name acts featured in other host cities. The shows are just going to be a lot harder for fans to get into compared to other cities.
Final Four representatives confirmed Thursday that the “Roar” hitmaker and “American Idol” judge will top off the March Madness Music Series on Sunday, April 7, at the Armory along with electronic producer Zedd.
Performers for the tournaments’ other two shows at the newly revived historic venue, scheduled April 5 and 6 have yet to be nailed down.
The concerts will be free, but passes will be required and are limited in number each day to the Armory’s 8,400-person capacity. An unspecified number of those passes will already be dedicated each day to VIPs from that weekend’s college basketball games.
Fans will need to register for a chance at passes through ncaa.com/final-four starting at noon on March 22. That night’s sponsor, CapitalOne, is offering early registration for its cardholders starting at 10 a.m Tuesday.
During prior Final Four runs, the local host committees threw large outdoor festivals in parks wide open to the public, with no tickets required.
San Antonio’s event last year drew about 40,000 people per day with such top-selling acts as Maroon 5, Imagine Dragons, Jason Aldean, Panic at the Disco and OneRepublic. For Phoenix’s Final Four the previous year, the festival featured Aerosmith, Keith Urban, Blink-182, Macklemore and Leon Bridges.
Final Four representatives said the usual March Madness Music Festival — tellingly renamed a “music series” this year — was moved indoors and greatly downsized in Minneapolis due to obvious concerns for possible wintry conditions in early April.
“With the unpredictability of the weather, a series of indoor concerts was determined to be the most effective way to guarantee an enjoyable and comfortable musical experience for fans,” the Minneapolis Final Four local organizing committee said in a statement.
Fear of weather did not stop the Super Bowl host committee from holding well-attended outdoor concerts on Nicollet Mall in late January and early February. The NHL All-Star Game at Xcel Energy Center in 2004 also featured a big, free concert outside the arena in early February.
There’s room for a lot more concertgoers in the newly created park, the Commons, right outside U.S. Bank Stadium. The Commons hosted big concerts related to the ESPN Summer X Games in 2017, but the park has since gone largely unused for such events.
Still, the Armory itself is also very conveniently located to the games and is already well-equipped for concerts. Only a block from U.S. Bank Stadium at 500 S. 6th St., the newly renovated historic hall was an instant hit as a music venue when it opened in time for last year’s Super Bowl-related concerts, which included Imagine Dragons, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Lopez.
The Final Four committee will still offer some outdoor fun, too. Last week, the committee announced plans for its Tip-Off Tailgate, happening April 5-8, with fan activities, a Ferris wheel, player interviews and smaller concerts. The Final Four Fan Fest will also go on for free on those same days inside the Minneapolis Convention Center.
The March Madness Music Series concerts are scheduled 7-11 p.m. each day, thus likely bumping up Saturday’s games at the nearby stadium. Friday and Sunday are nongame days in the tournament. About 72,000 fans are expected to attend the games.