Sources: Houston, Alabama among field for Players Era Festival

ByJay Bilas ESPN logo
Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The field for the first Players Era Festival, a new in-season men's college basketball tournament that promises to provide each team at least $1 million in name, image and likeness opportunities outside of the competition, is expected to be announced this week and will feature six schools that participated in the NCAA tournament last season, sources said.

Sources said the first-round matchups will be Houston vs. Alabama, Rutgers vs. Notre Dame, San Diego State vs. Texas A&M and Oregon vs. Creighton.

The event will be played in Las Vegas during Thanksgiving week.

EverWonder Studio, the content studio and production company behind the event, will soon announce the launch of "Players Era," an initiative aimed at engaging fans and providing college athletes with the chance to participate in unique NIL activities. Each participating team in the tournament will take part in more than $1 million in NIL opportunities with Players Era sponsors outside of the event.

EverWonder is also expected to announce that the Players Era Festival will expand to at least 18 teams in 2025, adding Gonzaga, Michigan, Syracuse, Saint Joseph's and St. John's to the field, sources said.

It is expected that future events and tournaments under the Players Era umbrella will be added, which could include women's basketball and men's college basketball preseason events, sources said.