SMU has raised $100 million from a group of 30 donors to support its transition to the ACC, the Texas school announced Monday. The funding will help the Mustangs compete with “powerhouse athletic programs” as it joins the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2024.
Southern Methodist University is already seeing increased ticket demand for its sports teams since its early September announcement of its plan to leave the American Athletic Conference for the ACC. Season ticket sales for Mustangs men’s basketball have increased 30% in the last week while “hundreds of new football season tickets” have also been sold.
“SMU is entering an exciting new era, made possible in large part by this small core group of donors,” SMU Director of Athletics Rick Hart said Monday in a statement. “Every metric we have has jumped in the last week, and we look forward to continuing that momentum both this year and next year as we begin ACC play.”
Yahoo Sports reported earlier this month that SMU secured $200 million from boosters to fuel its move to the ACC. The donations are much needed as SMU has agreed not to receive any media rights payments from the ACC for the first nine years of its stay in the conference.
SMU also said that more than $163 million in advertising value was generated from media coverage in the three days following the school’s Sept. 1 announcement of its move to the ACC. In those three days, SMU recorded a 103% increase in web visitors to its undergraduate admissions homepage.