BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Southeastern Conference has awarded the 2015 SEC Women's Basketball Tournament to North Little Rock, Ark., Commissioner Mike Slive announced today, which will mark Texas A&M's first conference tournament appearance in the state of Arkansas since 1984.
"The Southeastern Conference and its member institutions are excited to return to a city that has shown tremendous support for SEC women’s basketball," 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.”
The Verizon Arena will host the women’s tournament for the fourth time, having previously hosted in 2003, 2006 and 2009, but it will be the Aggies' first tournament appearance in North Little Rock. The Aggies have not played a conference tournament game in the state of Arkansas since a 1984 Southwest Conference Tournament game against the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville.
The Aggies won the SEC Tournament Championship in their first year in the league, and looks to defend its tournament championship in 2014 in Duluth, Ga., before taking the show to North Little Rock, which is only two hours from the Texas border and only four and a half hours from Dallas.
Situated in North Little Rock, the Arena first opened in October of 1999, as Alltel Arena and immediately became the focal point for sports and entertainment in Central Arkansas. Known now as Verizon Arena, the facility is publicly owned by the Multi-Purpose Civic Center Facilities Board for Pulaski County.
“The Verizon Arena is very excited to have the SEC Women's Tournament return to North Little Rock,” said Wesley Holmes, 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.”
The SEC Women's Basketball Tournament was previously announced for Nashville in 2018, 2022 and 2026. The league office is currently in the bid process for 2016 and 2017.