The Southeastern Conference has entered into a new agreement with the Alabama Sports Foundation and the City of Hoover, ensuring that the league’s annual event will remain at Regions Park through the year 2016, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive announced today.
“We are very pleased about continuing our relationship with the Alabama Sports Foundation and the City of Hoover” Slive said. “We have seen the tournament grow through the support of those two entities and our great fans. SEC baseball supporters have had a major impact on the success of this event, and we look forward to continuing to provide them with a great environment and experience.”
The 2010 SEC Baseball Tournament, held in Hoover, Ala., drew over 126,000 fans and nearly 10,000 per game, both record-highs for the event. Five times in the last eight years the tournament has surpassed the six-digit mark in total attendance. The 2008 event drew over 124,000 fans. The top 15 crowds in tournament history have come at Regions Park.
“We are pleased to continue the tradition of hosting the top conference baseball tournament in the country,” stated Gene Hallman, Executive Director of the Alabama Sports Foundation. “We are particularly gratified to be selected as the host community once again in light of the quality bids submitted by the five other competing cities. Our goal at the Alabama Sports Foundation is to continue to grow our community’s reputation as an outstanding host of a wide variety of sport events. We want to thank the City of Hoover for their outstanding support and to also thank the Southeastern Conference for their confidence in our community’s ability to continue to grow this outstanding tournament.”
The City of Hoover has made nearly $6 million in stadium improvements and renovations over the last five years, including most recently, installation of a state-of-the-art, high definition videoboard.
"The City of Hoover is elated to announce the extension of the SEC Baseball Tournament contract through 2016," Mayor Tony Petelos said. "Regions Park has served as the perfect venue for the Tournament for 14 consecutive years consistently breaking attendance records year after year. Our success has come from a tremendous working relationship between the Southeastern Conference, Alabama Sports Foundation and Barons with the goal to host the best college baseball tournament in the country. Many SEC Baseball traditions have begun in Hoover at Regions Park and with this extension, will continue for at least five more years. We thank the Hoover City Council and our community for their outstanding support and look forward to seeing you at Regions Park."
All games of the annual event are televised live and in HD as part of the league’s recent television contract with ESPN, as well as broadcast around the globe on www.ESPN3.com and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
A squad from the SEC Tournament has advanced to three consecutive national championship games, winning the last two (LSU, 2009; South Carolina 2010). Nearly 90 first-round picks in the MLB Draft have played in the SEC Tournament since 1991.
The 2011 event will be held May 25-29 at Regions Park. Tickets for the 2011 tournament are $100 for reserved ticket books, $75 for general admission ticket books, $60 for Dr Pepper general admission six packs, $17 for reserved single-session seat and $12 for a general admission single-session seat. Tickets can be purchased online at www.SECsports.com or by calling 1-800-732-4849.
About the Southeastern Conference (SEC)
The Southeastern Conference was formed in 1933 and consists of 12 member institutions: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The league currently sanctions championship play in nine men’s sports and 11 women’s sports. Its headquarters has been located in Birmingham, Ala., since 1948. For more on the SEC, visit www.SECSports.com.
About the Alabama Sports Foundation
The Alabama Sports Foundation (ASF) serves as the official sports lobby for the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, as well as the State of Alabama. The Foundation's mission is to recruit, manage and promote major spectator sporting events throughout Alabama. For more information on the Alabama Sports Foundation, please visit www.brunoeventteam.com/alabama-sports-foundation.php.
Jessica Sciacca, Alabama Sports Foundation, 205-977-9350
Erin Colbaugh, City of Hoover, 205-229-0754
Chuck Dunlap, SEC, 205-458-3000