Almost two months after Sports Authority, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company has decided to halt plans for debt reorganization and instead liquidate its assets by selling off holdings.
The Englewood-based sports retailer initially decided to close 140 out of its 463 stores, including our very own Sportscastle at 1000 Broadway. The closures left the fate of the iconic building, as well as Sports Authority’s local presence, in question. Now that the creditors have determined that maintaining independence as a company post-bankruptcy proceedings is an impossibility, it is likely that our Broncos will not be playing at Sports Authority Field at Mile High this season.
Sports Authority took over the naming of the stadium from Invesco in 2011, paying on average $6 to $7 million per year for a deal that was supposed to last through 2035. Coincidentally, bipartisan legislation was introduced on Tuesday afternoon that would require new sponsors to include “Mile High” with the brand name. The bill has been sent to the Business Affairs and Labor committee for assessment.
The Metropolitan Football Stadium District, which oversees the stadium, won’t know for sure if the naming rights are up for grabs until August 1, when Sports Authority’s next payment is due. After that, the retailer has a 30-day grace period to pay up.
“If that goes by, then the district can pursue what is necessary,” Matt Sugar, director of Stadium Affairs, told the Denver Business Journal on Wednesday. “Our position is that we will continue to monitor this and the lines of communication are open.”
Local companies are already inquiring about aligning their brands with our Super Bowl champions (including Native Roots, a budding marijuana business). But we want to hear from readers: What would you name Mile High? Let us know in the comments.