University at Albany’s SEFCU Arena will host the 2013 America East Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championship. The league’s Athletic Directors voted to send the combined tournament to Albany for the first time this morning.

“The first three years of the combined basketball championship have been a great success and we are excited to take the 2013 tournament to Albany,” America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen said. “Albany served as a great host for the 2009 men’s championship, one of our most successful in recent memory, and will no doubt be so again in 2013.”

The 2013 America East Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships will be held on March 7-10, 2013 at SEFCU Arena, a 4,538-seat facility on Albany’s campus. The first, quarterfinal and semifinal rounds for both the men and women will be held at the combined tournament, while the title games will again both be held the following weekend at the site of the highest remaining seeds.

“We are thrilled that the University at Albany has been chosen by the membership to host this championship,” said Lee McElroy, Albany Vice President & Director of Athletics. “Our staff looks forward to building on the standard that Hartford has created hosting the combined tournament during the last three years and promise to provide a first-class tournament for America East, its schools, student-athletes and fans, as well as the Capital Region.”

This will be the fourth straight year the league’s men’s and women’s tournaments have been combined at one site. The first three championships were a rousing success, drawing nearly 43,000 fans.

“Hartford has set a high standard for this tournament and as a result, the positive response we have received from our schools and fans on the current format has been overwhelming,” continued Huchthausen. “That standard, combined with the talent our teams have coming back next season and the passion for basketball that exists in the Capital Region, sets us up to have a tremendous tournament in 2013.”

Following the same format as the last three years, both first round games will be held Thursday, March 7, while the women’s quarterfinals will follow on Friday, March 8. The men’s quarterfinals will be scheduled for Saturday, March 9 and both the men’s and women’s semifinal tilts will take place Sunday, March 10. The highest seeds remaining in both the men’s and women’s tournament will host the championship games with the men’s title game on Saturday, March 16 and the women’s final tentatively set for that same day.

While this will be the first time SEFCU Arena hosts the conference’s combined championship, the building is no stranger towards hosting America East Championships. The building, which, opened in the spring of 1992 as an $11 million state-of-the-art facility, hosted the 2009 Men’s Basketball Championship and drew nearly 15,000 fans, the second-most since 2002. SEFCU Arena, formerly the Recreation & Convocation Center, also hosted the 2006 men’s championship game, as well as the 2012 women’s championship game, which drew more fans than any league title contest since 2006.

Ticket information for the 2013 America East Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championship will be announced at a later date.

The preceding information was written by Sean Tainsh, Director of Communications for the America East Conference.