SWAC baseball tournament getting close to moving to New Orleans _lowres

Advocate staff photo by John Oubre -- Southern's Jose DeLaTorre watches his hit on Saturday during first game action against Grambling on Saturday.

SWAC tournament appears to have found home in New Orleans

2The Southwestern Athletic Conference baseball tournament appears headed to New Orleans.

The director of the MLB Urban Youth Academy there said Wednesday that he was awaiting insurance paperwork in order to complete the booking. Eddie Davis III called the paperwork “a formality” and said he expected its arrival any time.

Time is of the essence because the eight-team tournament begins May 14.

The SWAC moved the tournament out of Fort Worth, Texas, because of safety issues at LaGraves Field, including an uneven playing surface.

Grambling coach James Cooper, chairman of the SWAC coaches committee, said Sunday that the conference had narrowed its options to the UYA and Lee-Hines Field at Southern. Cooper said coaches from the East Division were reluctant to go to Southern because their teams hadn’t played there and West Division teams had.

SWAC officials inspected the UYA on Monday, Davis said.

Southern, which did not qualify for the tournament, requested a multi-year commitment to host the tourney. The Jaguars have hosted the tournament four times since 2003, most recently in 2012.

SWAC officials, including Commissioner Duer Sharp, have not responded to numerous requests for comment.