Today in Nashville officials for the Southeastern Conference and Bridgestone Arena announced a long-term partnership that will see Music City, USA host the SEC’s men’s basketball tournament nine times between 2015 and 2026. The league will also toss in some women’s hoops tourneys to ensure that Nashville will host one tournament or the other in 12 consecutive seasons.
“Nashville has long been a valued partner of the Southeastern Conference and we are pleased to establish this long-term agreement that will benefit our men’s and women’s basketball tournaments,” Mike Slive said. “Nashville, as a proven host, provides SEC teams and fans with a wonderful experience.”
As we noted several months ago when the league started looking for a semi-permanent home for its hoops event, Nashville is really the perfect location. It’s arena is smack in the middle of Nashville’s downtown entertainment district with hotels, restaurants, clubs and live music at every turn. It’s airport makes travel easy as does its centralized location. Also, it’s just close enough to Kentucky to guarantee that the league’s best-traveling fans will attend in droves and snatch up plenty of ticket packages. Money is always the main factor, as we pointed out when guessing Nashville back in May.
We give the league’s selection a big thumbs-up. If you can’t have fun in Nashville, you’re probably incapable of having fun at all. And holding the tourney in an actual arena — rather than in a half-empty dome — is an added bonus.
Several reports guessed at dates and locations for the league’s men’s tournament yesterday, but most of those guesses turned out to be wrong. Officially, here’s how the SEC’s men’s tournament rotation will work between this season and 2026:
2014 — Atlanta
2015 — Nashville
2016 — Nashville
2017 — Nashville
2018 — To be determined (St. Louis is the favorite)
2019 — Nashville
2020 — Nashville
2021 — Nashville
2022 — To be determined (Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa or a city in a new state — ya never know — might be the choice)
2023 — Nashville
2024 — Nashville
2025 — Nashville