The Southeastern Conference has awarded the 2017 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament to Greenville, South Carolina—the first major collegiate sporting event to be awarded to the state since the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds in July 2015. Bon Secours Wellness Arena will host the event. VisitGreenvilleSC worked with the Greenville Arena District to secure the tournament. Greenville last hosted the tournament in 2005.
“The SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament is an important event for our conference and I am pleased we will be returning to Greenville after a 12-year absence,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “Greenville is a dynamic city that I believe will enthusiastically embrace our event and create lasting memories for our student-athletes. We look forward to making Greenville our Women’s Basketball Tournament home in 2017 and I am hopeful this will open the door for future SEC championship events to be held in the state of South Carolina.”
Destinations in South Carolina had been banned from hosting NCAA and other collegiate events for 15 years while the Confederate flag was flown at the capitol. But when Gov. Nikki Haley signed legislation removing the flag last year, the NCAA dropped its ban, opening the door for future events to return to the state.