SHREVEPORT, LA - The Farmers Insurance Southwestern Athletic Conference Women's and Men's Basketball Tournament has moved to Shreveport, LA, Commissioner Duer Sharp announced Thursday.
The 2010 Farmers Insurance SWAC Basketball Tournament will be played March 10-13 at CenturyTel Center. The women's and men's tournament finals will be televised live on ESPNU.
"We are excited to bring our basketball tournament to the Shreveport-Bossier City community and the state-of-the-art CenturyTel Arena," SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp said of the three-year agreement. "We want to thank the Mayors, City Council members, Shreveport Regional Sports Authority, and everyone involved in both great cities in helping bring our event to Northwest Louisiana. We know our student-athletes and fans will enjoy the arena and amenities of the area and we look forward to outstanding community support of this Championship event."
This will be the first time the basketball tournament will be played in the Shreveport-Bossier City area. The metropolitan area has a population of more than 300,000 residents and is the second-largest tourist destination in Louisiana.
"Bossier City is proud to serve as the host city for SWAC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships for the next three years," said Bossier City Mayor Lorenz "Lo" Walker. "The Shreveport Regional Sports Authority has led an outstanding effort in bringing yet another quality sporting event for northwest Louisiana and adding to the wonderful quality of life that's offered by our area."
Shreveport Mayor Cedric B. Glover said "I am indeed pleased and proud to have this opportunity to extend the hand of partnership to the Southwestern Athletic Conference and its member institutions. SWAC schools are an integral part of our community through both the colleges and universities AND their fans. We know our community will provide the support that will make the SWAC basketball championships a preeminent annual event! Our geographic location as well as our signature Southern Hospitality are only two of the ingredients we offer to a successful partnership....you will find our entire community extremely welcoming!
Opening in the fall of 2000, CenturyTel Center has hosted numerous world-class concerts, sporting events, and family shows. Among its amenities, the venue boasts a large center hung video scoreboard, able to show close-up action and instant replays, as well as 75 TV monitors located throughout the concourse areas. Seating capacity for the SWAC Tournament will be approximately 8,000.
"It has been a great experience working with the Commissioner and his staff to this point and I look forward to our staffs working closely over the next couple of months planning and executing one of the most successful tournaments in SWAC history," said Mike Cera, General Manager, CenturyTel Center. "Hosting the SWAC tournament gives us the opportunity to showcase the versatility of the CenturyTel Center and provides the Bossier City-Shreveport Community with another prestigious event."
"We are tremendously excited and privileged to be able to continue forging a stronger relationship and commitment to the Southwestern Athletic Conference," said MaryAnn Tice, Executive Director/CAO of the Shreveport Regional Sports Authority. "It has been my pleasure to work with the conference office staff over the past several months to relocate the men's and women's basketball championship to Shreveport-Bossier City and NW Louisiana. This will be a great event and opportunity for the SWAC fans and students to attend. I truly believe SWAC and Bossier-Shreveport are a winning combination!