NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference has decided Music City is the place to keep its basketball tournament for years to come, extending its deal with an option that could keep the event in Nashville through 2035.
The league announced the agreement Tuesday to play the tournament in Nashville through 2030 with an option for a five-year extension. The only exception is 2022, when the SEC women's tournament will be played in Nashville and the men's tournament is in Tampa.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey says Nashville has proven to be an outstanding home with tremendous support for the tournament. Sankey says the league has had success with deals keeping its football championship game in Atlanta; its baseball championship in Hoover, Alabama; and now Nashville for basketball.
"Similarly, we expect to identify a long-term home for our women's basketball tournament beyond 2022," Sankey said.
The SEC tournament in 2019 will be the eighth at Bridgestone Arena, and the event has been held in Nashville every year since 2013 with only two exceptions. It was played in Atlanta in 2014 and in St. Louis last March. The league also has held the women's tournament at the arena six times, including last March.
Nashville also hosted the men's tournament in 1984 and 1991 at Memorial Gym at Vanderbilt.