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Notre Dame Men's Basketball Set to Participate in Ground-Breaking NIL-Based Tournament

Written by: Jhett Garrett Writer Twitter/X: @jhettgarrett

Photo by The Irish Tribune


The Notre Dame Men’s Basketball team will be one of eight teams to compete in the first-ever $1 million NIL-Based tournament. It was announced on Wednesday by CBS Sports that the Irish, along with Alabama, Houston, San Diego State, Rutgers, Oregon, and Texas A&M will all be participating, including an eighth team that is yet to be announced.


The “Players Era Festival” is set to take place in Las Vegas during Thanksgiving Week and will have a payout of $1 million for all the schools involved. Along with this payout, players will also have the opportunity to secure long-term NIL contracts with brands, which will allow them to make more money.





This “first of its kind” tournament is not going to be just a one-time thing either, with the field set to double in 2025. Schools such as Duke, Michigan, Virginia, Kansas, Gonzaga, and Syracuse are all reportedly on board to join the original eight teams in 2025. This means that Notre Dame will be included next season, as well as 2026 because of the three-year agreement that the original eight schools have agreed to.


While the format for the eight-team tournament has not yet been decided on, the dates and locations have. Games will take place on November 26th, 27th, and 29th (No games on Thanksgiving Day), and be played at T-Mobile Arena, Michelob ULTRA Arena, and MGM Grand Garden Arena.


During their time in Las Vegas, players will be required to attend off-the-court events to earn NIL money, along with the $1 million being awarded to each school’s collective. The winner of the tournament will be awarded what is rumored to be an additional $1 million which will be distributed to players through the collectives.





On top of this, players will have the opportunity to sign for a 10% stake in equity in Players Era, which would allow the athletes to make money with the company. This will be through the head of the event, EverWonder Studio, which is a production company based out of New York. The main financial backer, RedBird IMI, is a multi-billion-dollar investment firm, that is mainly funded through the United Arab Emirates.


Due to controversy with the NCAA and their rule that prevents teams from playing in big events twice over four years, an official announcement has yet to be made, despite Front Office Sports being the first to report on it back in March. Along with this, there is not yet a decided streaming platform on which the event will be aired. However, it can be assumed that once the tournament is official, streaming services will jump at the opportunity to have this event aired on their platform. It has been said by representatives of the tournament that the event will coincide with all NCAA rules, however.


This is an event that could change the entire landscape of not only college basketball but college sports as a whole, with Notre Dame being one of the schools at the forefront of this.


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