The America East women’s basketball tournament will not be returning to Portland next year.

The tournament, which was held at the Cross Insurance Arena the past two years, will no longer use a central location, the conference announced Thursday.

The tournament is reverting to a format last used in 1997, when playoff games were held at the site of the higher-seeded team. Therefore, the top four-seeded teams will serve as hosts in the quarterfinals. The remaining highest two seeds will host semifinal games, and the remaining highest seed will host the title game.

From 1995-97, the championship games were held at the Alfond Arena in Orono, as the dominant Maine teams won three straight title

Since 1997, the conference has used a central location for the whole tournament or, at least, for the early rounds. Last season, the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds were held in Portland. Top-seeded Maine won its two games and earned the right to host the title game in Bangor, which it won, against Hartford.

The America East men’s tournament, which once used a central location, had already reverted to the higher-seed format.

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