Eric King, NBC 5 News
Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington is preparing to host the NCAA Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight this year.
Preparations are under way at Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington for the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight as the floor is transformed from a gridiron into a basketball court.
Fifty-two big-rigs are being used to haul in all of the necessary equipment to turn Jerry World into a top-notch basketball facility.
All of the seating for the games will be lower bowl seating with the addition of 16,642 temporary seats. Crowds of up to 30,000 people are expected for the games.
That number is expected to rise significantly to about 80,000 next year when the stadium hosts the Final Four.
This isn't the first time the stadium has hosted basketball games. The first teams to heat up the stadium’s hardwood were the University of Texas Longhorns and the University of North Carolina Tarheels on Dec. 19, 2009. That was followed by the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 14, 2010.
The transformation started last week and is expected to be finished in the middle of next week. Teams begin practicing on Thursday and are free to those who want to watch. Games will be held at the stadium March 29 and 31.