The Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament returns for a 19th consecutive year to the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in the south-Birmingham city of Hoover, Ala., May 23-28.
The 2017 SEC Baseball Tournament will continue to feature 12 teams and will remain set to begin on Tuesday, May 23. Seeds 5-12 will meet in a single elimination format on the opening day of the tournament, followed by traditional double-elimination play Wednesday-Friday. The tournament will return to single elimination play on Saturday. A total of 17 games will be played throughout the tournament.
The 12 teams are seeded 1-12 with the two divisional champions and top four seeds guaranteed opening-round byes, with the possibility of earning another later in the bracket. The tournament field will include the top teams from the SEC's Eastern and Western Divisions plus 10 at large bids seeded 3-12 based on conference winning percentage.
The Hoover Met formerly served as home of the Double-A Birmingham Barons (Chicago White Sox) of the Southern League. The stadium also has served as host of the NCAA Men's Soccer Final Four, as well as home to the nationally renowned Hoover Buccaneer high school football program.
Located eight miles south of Birmingham, Hoover Metropolitan Complex seats 10,800 for baseball, but can accommodate over 16,000 when the patio, banquet and side grassy areas are used. The stadium also houses 12 suites and state-of-the-art dressing and training rooms. Wireless internet access was added in 2004, concourse and signage renovation was done in 2005 and a second-level press box expansion, new stadium seating and an exterior facelift in 2007 completed a $6 million renovation project. A new HD video scoreboard was added in 2008, while the SEC introduced the nation to a 'pitch clock' in 2010. A new sound systems and concourse amenities such as refurbished restrooms big screen HDTVs at concessions stands were added in 2012.
The 2016 Championship game marked the 500th game in the 40-year history of the SEC Baseball Tournament. Texas A&M defeated Florida 12-5 in a championship game that featured two top-5 teams and a national television audience. Tournament MVP Nick Banks led the Aggies to victory in a game where he became just the second player ever to hit two home runs in the SEC Championship game.
Annually the most premiere conference tournament in America, the 2016 SEC tournament field included seven of the nation's top 25 teams, five of which were ranked in the top-10 going into tournament play. The tournament also set a new bar for attendance, drawing over 150,000 fans to the Hoover Met.
All games of the tournament have been televised in high definition since 2008. In 2015, for the first time in the history of the tournament, all games of the SEC Baseball Tournament were nationally televised.