Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas-Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
North Little Rock awarded SEC women's tournament
A small crowd watches Arkansas and Ole Miss in the first round of the SEC women's tournament at Alltel Arena Thursday, March 5, 2009.
FAYETTEVILLE North Little Rock's Verizon Arena will be the host of the 2015 Southeastern Conference women's basketball tournament, the league announced Thursday.
The venue has hosted the event three times before, last in 2009. Formerly Alltel Arena, it also hosted the women's tournament in 2003 and 2006.
"The Southeastern Conference and its member institutions are excited to return to a city that has shown tremendous support for SEC women’s basketball," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said. "Verizon Arena is a great facility and North Little Rock is an enthusiastic community that is perfect to showcase our women’s basketball programs. We know that our student-athletes, coaches and fans will greatly enjoy a return visit to the area.”
North Little Rock joins a rotation of cities for the event. The SEC announced earlier this week Nashville, Tenn. will host the women's tournament in 2018, 2022 and 2026. Duluth, Ga. hosted last year's tournament and is scheduled to host the one for the coming season.
The SEC is in the bid process for the tournament in 2017 and 2018.
“The Verizon Arena is very excited to have the SEC Women's Tournament return to North Little Rock,” said Wesley Holmes, the arena's assistant general manager. “This is one of the premier women's sporting events in the nation featuring numerous top 25 teams. We look forward to rolling out the red carpet for the athletes, staff and fans of these great institutions.”
In addition to the women's tournament, the venue hosted NCAA first- and second-round men's basketball games in 2008 and the SEC gymnastics championship earlier this year. Verizon Arena has a seating capacity of around 15,000.