With 345 days and counting until the tip-off of the 2017 NCAA Final Four, the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee (PLOC), Governor Doug Ducey, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, several other elected officials from the Phoenix Metropolitan area unveiled the official countdown clock Thursday at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The clock will mark the days, hours and minutes until Arizona’s first Final Four.

“The countdown for the 2017 NCAA Final Four has officially begun. This milestone launches the year of basketball in the Valley,” said Dawn Rogers, executive director and CEO of the PLOC. “Travelers and Phoenicians alike coming through Sky Harbor International Airport will be reminded this iconic event is being hosted right here.  We are so honored and eager to welcome the nation’s basketball community and for Arizona to shine!”

Located in Terminal 4, which serves 85 percent of Sky Harbors passengers, one digital clock is illuminated on a 55-inch high-definition LED screen at the west end of baggage claim.  Another countdown clock is on the east end of Baggage Claim.

“The NCAA Final Four is one of the most thrilling sporting events in the world, so Phoenix cannot wait to once again share a national spotlight and showcase our unmatched hospitality,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “The second-ever College Football Playoff National Championship was a major success.  Now, Phoenix has another opportunity to show why our metropolitan area is the best location in the country for mega-events.”

Visitors from across the country will be welcomed to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport next April as college basketball fans descend upon the Valley for the 2017 NCAA Final Four. The games will be held April 1 and 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. This is the first time Arizona has hosted the prestigious Final Four, which is expected to attract more than 70,000 fans per game.

“We are excited to extend the Final Four experience to Arizona and the west,” said JoAn Scott, managing director of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, who noted the last Final Four played in the western United States was in Seattle in 1995. “The Valley of the Sun will be the epicenter of college basketball next April, and I am confident that our student-athletes, teams, coaches and fans will enjoy a wonderful, positive experience.”

In addition to the championship games, Phoenix Sky Harbor will serve as the gateway to other events surrounding the big tournament, and provide easy access to Valley-wide activities. The PHX Sky Train® connects with Valley Metro Rail to provide a quick, convenient, and seamless ride from the airport to downtown Phoenix.