A Florida Fan’s Travel Guide To The Final Four Of March Madness

Written By Dan Holmes on March 29, 2023 - Last Updated on July 21, 2023
Florida Final Four travel guide

Florida college basketball fans have two reasons to go west to Texas to watch the Final Four: the University of Miami Hurricanes and Florida Atlantic University Owls will be playing on Saturday.

The Final Four is one of the most popular sporting events of the year as part of the final weekend of March Madness. Florida hoops fans: here’s your guide to Final Four 2023 in Houston.

Final Four Details

WHAT: NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament National Semifinals
WHEN: Saturday, April 1
WHERE: NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas
TIME: Tip-off of first game is at 6:09 p.m. ET
AT STAKE: Spot in the National Title Game on Monday, April 3

GAME ONE: Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State, 6:09 p.m. ET
GAME TWO: Miami FL vs. Connecticut, 8:49 p.m. ET (to follow first game by about 30 minutes)

Both games will be seen on CBS and streamed on Paramount+ (subscription required).

Getting Around Houston, Parking, Transit

From Friday, Mar. 31, through Monday, April 3, it will be free to ride METRORail in downtown Houston. That means you can hop on the RED, GREEN, and PURPLE rail lines for no charge.

Amazing Facts About NRG Stadium

NRG Stadium in downtown Houston is home to many sporting events and activities. It was the first NFL stadium with a retractable roof, and it hosts the largest rodeo in the world. The seating capacity is 72,220 and will be packed for the 2023 Final Four.

NRG Stadium is adjacent to Kirby Drive at the South Loop West Freeway (I-610). It is part of a complex on 350 acres that includes four major venues: NRG Stadium, NRG Center, NRG Arena, and the NRG Astrodome.

NRG Stadium Parking Map for Final Four

Use this map to assist in your parking for March Madness Final Four. There will be shuttles available. Consult your ticket and/or contact the Houston Visitors Bureau for information.

Final Four parking map

Final Four FanFest

The annual Final Four FanFest will be held at GRB Convention Center, across the street from NRG Stadium, the site of the Final Four.

At FanFest, you can participate in interactive games and meet athletes and celebrities. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the event. Kids 12 and younger can enter for free. If you have game tickets for the Final Four or any Rockets game, you can attend FanFest for free.

March Madness Music Festival

All basketball and no play make all of us dull tourists. That’s why Houston is putting on a large, loud, free music festival over Final Four Weekend. Give your ears a treat and stop by. The event runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The Final Four Music Festival is presented by NCAA Corporate Champions AT&T, Coca-Cola, and Capital One. It will be held at Discovery Green. Performers will include Megan Thee Stallion (Friday), Lil Nas X (Saturday), Tim McGraw and Keith Urban (Sunday), and many more. Here are the themes and times for each day of the event:

  • AT&T Block Party, Friday, March 31: 4:30 – 10 p.m. CT
  • MOVE by Coca-Cola, Saturday, April 1: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. CT
  • Capital One JamFest: Sunday, April 2: 2:30 – 10 p.m. CT

Discovery Green is a 12-acre park smack dab in the middle of downtown Houston. It’s a southern-style Central Park for Houston: a place for the public to enjoy the city in a sprawling urban park with greens, pools, and relaxing venues. Entry is free.

You will need a ticket in advance to enter. Check the NCAA website to get those. You must have a government-issued ID matching your ticket’s name to be allowed inside the festival area. An adult must accompany anyone under 16 to enter.

Check the weather forecast: Houston can be humid. Be sure to grab bottled water and dress for the warm weather.

Best Houston Sports Bars to Watch Miami and FAU in Final Four

No tickets for the games? Don’t worry. You can cheer on the Canes and/or the Owls at one of these top Houston sports bars for the Final Four.


Never miss a shot or a buzzer-beater in Biggio’s, which has more than three dozen large-screen TVs. Named for former Astros legend Craig Biggio, this great sports bar has more than 40 beers on tap, plus chicken and waffles, a southern favorite.

Located at 1777 Walker Street.

Kirby Ice House

As long as you’re in Texas, you may as well see the self-proclaimed “world’s largest sports bar,” Kirby Ice House, which has three locations in and around Houston.

More than 40 TV screens, music, food, and 50+ beers: that’s what you’ll find at this 30,000-square-foot sports lover’s dream. Pick from Upper Kirby, Memorial, or Woodlands (suburbs), and plant yourself in front of a TV to watch the basketball action on Saturday for the Final Four. We bet you’ll run into others from Florida rooting for their favorite team.

Visit the Kirby Ice House website for locations and information.

Betting Odds for Final Four: Owls and Hurricanes Both Underdogs

How cool would it be to see an all-Florida national title game? To get there, FAU and Miami will need to pull off upsets.

Caesars Sportsbook lists the Owls at +2 points and +110 on the moneyline in their matchup against SDSU. Caesars also prices Miami at +5.5 and +205 against Connecticut.

Unfortunately, Florida sports betting is tied up in a legal battle. Legal betting isn’t available in Texas, either. As a result, Florida sports bettors would need to stop in one of the dozens of states with legal sports betting before starting their long weekend in Houston.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a contributor for PlayFL with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He also has extensive experience covering the launch of sports betting in other states, including Ohio, Massachusetts and Maryland. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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