– Executive vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson has been elected Chair of the North Texas Local Organizing Committee, the group responsible for hosting the 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four Championship at Cowboys Stadium from April 6-8.
Five years ago, Anderson and a few members of the group pitched the idea of bringing the Final Four to North Texas and to the new stadium. Now, that hope is coming to fruition.
“You look at all the events that take place across the country, and you circle the ones that you say, ‘These events need to be in our stadium,’ and the Final Four of course was at the top of that list,” Anderson said. “We put together a small group to go pitch to the NCAA and myself, along with the Big 12, we went to Indianapolis and told them about this vision, described what our stadium was going to look like and let them know that we wanted to host this tournament, and now here we are.”
Anderson’s leading the way after the LOC’s Board of Directors named her as the Committee Chair, while also naming Noe Hinojosa, president and CEO of Estrada Hinojosa Co., as the LOC’s treasurer.
“When you go through a bid process, you basically follow a guideline that says, ‘This is what this tournament will be here in your area,’ and there are certain things that the NCAA will come in and execute,” Anderson said. They have their hand. We gather together a menu of things for them to pick from, in terms of things like hotel rooms and locations for the events that they have.”
In addition to the tournament, the NCAA will provide events for members of the community to participate in, including a free concert and various events for children. She said the NCAA puts on an event similar to the NFL Experience, providing interactive areas for children to test their jump shot and dribbling skills. The events provide more ways for the community to get active and get involved with college basketball.
Anderson said she’s always been an avid basketball fan after graduating from Stanford, staying involved with the NCAA and being a parent of three children who played the game.
“I’ve always loved rooting for my alma mater, and I’ve always loved March Madness,” Anderson said. “Being able to take this role and to be a more integral part of that is great. I served on the NCAA Leadership Committee for quite some time, and to get a chance to go to the Final Fours and hear a lot of the things they’re involved with has really been a great experience.”
In addition to her role as executive vice president of the Cowboys, Anderson also serves as the Cowboys’ vice president of brand management and the Chair of The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board. She was also recently named the Chair of the NFL Foundation and was “a natural to lead the effort,” according to Rick Baker, president and CEO of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.
“Five years ago she led the bid process to bring this event to Cowboys Stadium,” Baker said in a statement. “As a member of the Super Bowl XLV Host Committee’s executive board, she was instrumental in the well-documented success of that group. Charlotte is a tireless advocate for our region, and I’m very excited that she has accepted this leadership role with the North Texas LOC.”
The LOC’s Board of Directors includes Anderson; Baker; George Bayoud, President of Bayoud & Company, Inc.; Rolando Blackman, former Dallas Mavericks great; Bob Bowlsby, Commissioner of the Big 12 Conference; Jay Burress, President/CEO of the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau; Hinojosa; Philip Jones, CEO of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau; Nancy Lieberman, member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame; Gina Puente, CEO and Co-Founder of Puente Enterprises, Inc.; Terdema Ussery, President and CEO of the Dallas Mavericks; John Stankey, Senior Vice President, AT&T; Kathy Saunders, VP and General Manager of KDFW FOX 4; Alan White, Chairman and CEO of PlainsCapital Bank; Frank Windegger, former TCU Athletic Director.
“We certainly have a strong committee, but for them to have confidence in you to kind of lead the way is truly an honor,” Anderson said. “It’s exciting. I can’t believe it. 2007 is when we went and pitched this idea, and now it’s like 15 months away and it’s here, so we’re excited.”
Prior to the 2014 Final Four, Cowboys Stadium will also host the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball South Regional during the “Sweet 16” on March 29 and the “Elite 8” on March 31. Tickets to the regional matchups are now on sale through Ticketmaster online at ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000. For more information on Cowboys Stadium and the NCAA tournament visit www.stadium.dallascowboys.com