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FINALS WATCH: North Texas changes since 1986

AP - Sports
FINALS WATCH: North Texas changes since 1986

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AT&T stadium, host of the 2014 NCAA Final Four, is seen from Globe Life Park Monday, March 31, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Welcome to the NCAA Final Four in North Texas. Enjoy all the parties in Dallas and Sundance Square in Fort Worth, but if you're going to the games, they are not in Big D. They are at Jerry Jones' billion-dollar stadium in Arlington, a town of about 370,000 people in between those two downtown's. (AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Quite a few things have changed in the North Texas region since the NCAA Final Four was last played there in 1986.

First off, this year's national semifinals and championship game will be played in the Dallas Cowboys' billion-dollar showplace stadium in Arlington.

Reunion Arena, the downtown Dallas arena that hosted the previous Final Four, was torn down in 2009. A year later, Texas Stadium with the hole in the roof where the Cowboys used to play, was also demolished.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram in its Friday edition listed a tale of the tape comparing 1986 and 2014. Among the nuggets:

- Dallas-Fort Worth population has grown from 3.7 million to 6.8 million

- Reunion Arena costs $27 million to build. That's not enough to even buy the huge screens now hanging over the center of the court.

- Attendance for the 1986 championship game was 16,493. More than 75,000 are expected Monday night.

- Average face value of tickets was $46 in 1986, and is $190 this year.

- The shot clock was then in its first year at 45 seconds. It's now 35 seconds.

- Stephen Hawkins -


NCAA Finals Watch follows the Final Four games and all the activities surrounding the event as seen by journalists from The Associated Press in North Texas - from the big stadium in Arlington where the games will be played to downtown Dallas. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest.

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