ST. LOUIS – May 29, 2014 – The Southeastern Conference’s footprint is all the more ingrained in St. Louis this week following Tuesday night’s momentous basketball tournament announcement.  At the SEC’s annual spring meetings in Destin, Fla., Commissioner Mike Slive announced that the league’s directors of athletics unanimously approved St. Louis to host the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2018.  The event will take place March 7-11, 2018 at Scottrade Center.

When the tournament tips off in four years, it will make its first appearance in St. Louis – a debut made possible by the University of Missouri’s membership in the conference two years ago.  Seeking to expand the developing relationship between the St. Louis region, the state of Missouri and the SEC, the St. Louis Sports Commission partnered with Scottrade Center to bid on the men’s basketball championship.

“We are thrilled to be awarded the 2018 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament,” said Sports Commission President, Frank Viverito.  “Our thanks to Commissioner Slive and all of our friends at the SEC for their confidence in St. Louis, as well as to Mike Alden and the University of Missouri for their outstanding support.  We look forward to collaborating with our partners at Scottrade Center to produce an outstanding event, and we are excited about the impact this tournament will have on our region to energize our community and help expand the SEC footprint.”

Mizzou Director of Athletics Mike Alden said, “There were many worthy venues and cities competing for this championship, and I know our fans, our state and the city of St. Louis will help create a memorable experience for our student-athletes, coaches and fans traveling in for this great event.  What an exciting day for our University and our state.”

The 22,000-seat Scottrade Center has a rich history of hosting major collegiate events.  Its résumé includes this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball 2nd/3rd Rounds, the 2001 and 2009 NCAA Women’s Final Four, the 2007 NCAA Frozen Four, six NCAA Wrestling Championships since 2000, the annual Missouri vs. Illinois Bud Light Braggin’ Rights Game, and the annual Missouri Valley Conference “Arch Madness” Men’s Basketball Championship.

“Scottrade Center is honored to be selected to host the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2018,” said Scottrade Center Senior Vice President Jay Roberts.  “Our venue and the entire St. Louis Blues organization are so pleased to be able to play a role in helping the community attract such a sought-after event.  We look forward to continuing our tradition of working with the St. Louis Sports Commission to generate great benefit for the region through events we produce together.”

The SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament adds to a prestigious lineup of collegiate events recently awarded to St. Louis, including the 2015 and 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships.  St. Louis also is one of eight finalist cities for the 2017-2020 NCAA Men’s Final Four.  Site selections will occur in November.