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Is Private Equity coming for college sports first...or Private Capital?

There's an importance difference.

Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.

Quick note: l am currently in Orlando for Serious Professional Journalism reasons, and will be here until Friday afternoon.

Even before revenue sharing and House settlement payments, it was only getting more and more expensive to run a D-I college athletic department. Inflation and supply chain bottlenecks sent the price of construction projects skyrocketing. Interest rate increases pushed many key vendors to raise prices, labor shortages are hitting everywhere from travel to officiating to athletic trainers, and enrollment shortages are undercutting budgets across the country.

But now, with schools facing all of those problems, and needing to likely pay settlement damages and potentially explicitly share revenue with athletes, just about every athletic department is looking for more revenue.

But that’s easier said than done. With booster also being asked to shoulder the vast majority of the bill for NIL funding, virtually every major program is worried about major donor fatigue. Previous facility projects limit what many departments can raise via bond sales or more traditional debt markets. Taxpayers are increasingly skeptical of direct athletic department subsidies.

There are only so many more tickets, corporate sponsorships and hot dogs you can sell. So where does the new money come from?

Potentially via private equity and private credit. And yesterday, two firms took a big step towards that future:

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