ROCK HILL, S.C. (TheSAC.com) – The South Atlantic Conference Basketball and Pilot/Flying J Baseball Championship will remain at their traditional venues, the League announced today. The South Atlantic Conference and Timmons arena have agreed to a three year extension on the contract for basketball, while the SAC and the Tennessee Smokies have agreed to a three year extension as well. Both contract extensions put the championships at the venues through the 2020 season, with an option for 2021.
"Being able to have our conference championship events at venues like Timmons Arena and Smokies Stadium provides our student-athletes with exceptional experiences," said SAC Commissioner Patrick Britz. "We have had a great partnership and relationship with both facilities and the staffs for many years and we are excited to extend these agreements."
Timmons Arena has been home to the South Atlantic Conference Basketball Championship since the 2013 season after being held in Hickory for 12 years prior. The $10.9 million facility is located on the campus of Furman University and has a seating capacity of 3,500. The arena is located just minutes from Greenville's downtown district.
"We always look forward to the South Atlantic Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Championship weekend," said Furman Assistant Athletics Director for Facilities & Game Operations Todd Duke. "I am always happy to be a part of the event and witness the excitement. The SAC will be welcome here for as long as it wants to play in Greenville."
Smokies Stadium has been the home of the Pilot/Flying J SAC Baseball Championship since the 2015 season. The championship was held at McNair Field in Forest City, N.C. for five years before moving to Kodak, Tenn. Smokies Stadium is conveniently located off of Interstate 40 and is the home of the Double-A affiliate for the Chicago Cubs. A major league style facility, the stadium has a capacity of 6,000 fans, a state of the art press box and luxury suites. With no seat more than 19 rows off the field, Smokies Stadium offers every fan an up-close and personal viewing experience. The Smokies have ranked in the top five in attendance in the Southern League for nine-straight years.
"We are thrilled to have been afforded the opportunity to continue to host the South Atlantic Conference Tournament for the next few years," said Smokies Vice President Jeremy Boler. "We look forward to continuing to give the South Atlantic Conference teams a memorable postseason experience."
The 2018 SAC Basketball Championship quarterfinals are slated to get underway on Feb. 27 on campus sites and will move to Timmons for the semifinals and finals on March 3 and 4. The 2018 Pilot/Flying J SAC Baseball Championship is set for April 26-30.