Tourney to return to Arena
SEC women's hoops coming back to Duluth

A Southeastern Conference announcement Wednesday guaranteed the Arena at Gwinnett Center's relationship with the league will continue in the near future.

The Duluth arena was selected to host the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament three times in a five-year span, starting with next season's tourney in March 2010. It also will host the event in 2013 and 2014.

"We're very excited about it," Arena at Gwinnett Center manager Chris Hendley said. "Every event we've done with the SEC has been nothing but a success, in both gymnastics and women's basketball."

The venue previously hosted the SEC women's tourney in 2007, in addition to hosting the SEC Gymnastics Championships in both 2004 and 2008. It also took a major step earlier this year when it hosted an NCAA event for the first time - the opening two rounds of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.

Wednesday's SEC announcement also included news that the Georgia Dome in Atlanta will host the 2014 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament. The Dome already had been selected to host the 2011 men's tourney.

The future SEC women's tourneys not held in Duluth, the 2011 and 2012 events, are both scheduled for The Sommet Center in Nashville, Tenn.

"The SEC and its member institutions are excited to return to cities that have shown tremendous support of the SEC," league commissioner Mike Slive said in a news release. "Nashville, Atlanta and Duluth all have great facilities and enthusiastic communities that are perfect to showcase our basketball programs."