Understandably, all anyone wants to talk about at the SEC meetings is football, but the conference managed to sneak in some basketball tidbits, the most important of which was about its future basketball tournaments.
SEC men’s hoop tourneys will be in St. Louis in 2018 & Tampa in 2022— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) May 27, 2014
News also broke that the rest of the tournaments between now and 2025 will be in Nashville — a regular, along with the Georgia Dome, which is leaving the rotation — but the inclusion of Tampa and St. Louis is interesting. Tampa has never in its history gotten excited about sports, while St. Louis is yet another instance of a conference trying to expand its footprint to accommodate its new members.
"We are thrilled to be awarded the 2018 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament" said Sports Commission President, Frank Viverito … (1/5)— STLSportsCommission (@STLSportsCom) May 27, 2014
… "Our thanks to Commissioner (Mike) Slive and all of our friends at the SEC for their confidence in St. Louis, as well as to ... (2/5)— STLSportsCommission (@STLSportsCom) May 27, 2014
... Mike (Alden) and the University of Missouri for their outstanding support. We look forward to collaborating with our partners ... (3/5)— STLSportsCommission (@STLSportsCom) May 27, 2014
... at Scottrade Center to produce an outstanding event, and we are excited about the impact this tournament ... (4/5)— STLSportsCommission (@STLSportsCom) May 27, 2014
... will have on our region to energize our community and help expand the SEC footprint." (5/5)— STLSportsCommission (@STLSportsCom) May 27, 2014
The Big Ten played the #footprint game with Washington, D.C., but that seemed to make more sense. DC a lot of Big Ten alums, and a larger general population. St. Louis isn't a particularly coveted or contested market, and it certainly isn't a major hub of non-Mizzou SEC fans.
It's only a one-year move, so this isn't a drastic change for the conference. Still, it will be interesting to see if the SEC benefits from this, because there doesn't appear to be much of a gain from a #footprint or geographic perspective.