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Volume 20 No. 41
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Owners to vote on NFL venture capital fund

NFL owners are slated to vote this week on creating the first league-run venture capital fund in sports.

A league spokesman said last week that a vote was scheduled for Wednesday’s half-day owners meeting in Dallas.

The $32 million fund, which would invest in football-related startups, would be a first in professional sports. It was unclear last week if the league had selected an outside venture capital firm to partner with and invest alongside — a prospect the league noted when the fund’s development was first reported (SportsBusiness Journal, Oct. 17-23).

“It is currently on the agenda,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote via email. “As you know, as in life, everything is subject to change.”

Also on the agenda is approval of the sale of the Jacksonville Jaguars to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan. The league’s finance committee approved the sale last week, so approval by full ownership is anticipated.

Khan, who would succeed Wayne Weaver, is expected to address the media after the vote.

The league also is expected to brief owners on the latest round of TV contracts with Fox, CBS and NBC. Those deals are nearing eight-year renewals with rights-fee increases of 60 percent, but it was uncertain whether the deals would be ready in time for a vote this week.

— Daniel Kaplan