Alabama Crimson Tide Hoops set for a big Las Vegas payout

In November, in Las Vegas, chips will be cashed in from a new basketball tournament featuring the Alabama Crimson Tide and seven other teams.
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One of the highest-profile 2024 early-season, college basketball tournaments will include the Alabama Crimson Tide. The new event has triple doses of sizzle. It will take place in Las Vegas; two days before and one day after Thanksgiving. The tournament will have eight teams. According to a recent report, seven of the eight teams are locked in and one is the Alabama Crimson Tide.

While the above details are glitzy, the real sizzle is $1M in NIL funds to each team, with an additional $1M going to the winning team. Though not confirmed, it has been speculated that Alabama is already committed to returning for the 2025 and 2026 versions of the tournament. The new basketball event is titled the Players Era Festival.

Organizers plan to have 16 teams each year, beginning in 2025. Schedule formats and brackets are still being developed.

The other six teams already on board with the Crimson Tide are Houston, Oregon, San Diego State, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, and Rutgers. One of the formats being considered is two four-team brackets. If that format is selected, it is expected Alabama and Texas A&M would not be in the same bracket. A guess is Alabama would likely be grouped with Rutgers. Not that the event will need more hype, but Bama vs. Rutgers, with Clifford Omoruyi having left New Brunswick for Tuscaloosa could boost viewing on the East Coast.

There will be plenty of off-the-court activities for participating players. Those events will be the vehicles by which the players earn the NIL funds. For coaches, it's pretty much free money for their NIL coffers. One coach was quoted by CBS as saying, "If there are events where there's an extraordinary amount of money involved, and there's no donor fatigue involved in this, how do you not play in this? There's not a decision we make that's not NIL-driven. I'll play in the parking lot of Mandalay Bay ..."

There are plenty of arenas in Vegas that parking lots will not be needed. But honestly any venue in which the Alabama Crimson Tide plays, there will be 'showtime.'