TAMPA, Fla. - Tampa Bay will host the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament for the first time in its history at the St. Pete Times Forum March 12-15. Marking the tournament’s second trip to the state of Florida, the 2009 Tournament will feature a sold out St. Pete Times Forum.

The Forum is no stranger to hosting marquee events. This world-class facility with a basketball seating configuration of over 22,000, served as the site of the 2008 NCAA Women’s Final Four, the 2008 NCAA Men’s First and Second Rounds, and the 2007 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament. Additionally, the building also serves as the home of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and the AFL’s Tampa Bay Storm.

This will be the first time the tournament has been held in the state of Florida since Orlando served as the host of the 1990 tournament. The SEC has shown extraordinary balance in the tournament, evidenced by the fact that a different school won the first seven titles after the renewal. The event has helped set the stage for SEC teams in the NCAA Tournament, as 22 of the last 28 tournament champions have advanced to at least the Sweet 16 with five of the last 12 going on to win the national championship. Since the renewal in 1979, the SEC Tournament Champion has failed to win at least one NCAA Tournament game only three times. Kentucky leads the league with 25 SEC Tournament titles. Alabama is second with six, while Tennessee ranks third with four, Florida three and Mississippi State has two championship trophies. Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and former league member Georgia Tech have each won one SEC Tournament championship.

Fans can purchase tickets through or by calling (800) 732-4849. Tickets will only be available by purchasing the reserved book for $300, which includes one ticket for each of the six sessions (11 games total).

FIRST ROUND: March 12 (Thursday) @ 1:00 PM, 3:15 PM, 7:30 PM & 9:45 PM

SECOND ROUND: March 13 (Friday) @ 1:00 PM, 3:15 PM, 7:30 PM & 9:45 PM

SEMIFINALS: March 14 (Saturday) @ 1:00 PM & 3:15 PM

FINALS: March 15 (Sunday) @ 1:00 PM