Sports Authority Auction Draws No Bidders For Mile High Stadium Naming Rights

Image courtesy of Heath Alseike

Dick’s Sporting Goods may have scooped up the Sports Authority name and 31 stores in the auction of the latter retailer’s assets last week, but it appears no one was interested in the naming rights to reigning Super Bowl champions Denver Broncos’ home stadium. 

The Denver Business Journal reports that there were no bidders of the naming rights for Mile High Stadium — currently known as Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium — potentially setting the stage for a second auction.

There had previously been speculation that the naming rights for the stadium wasn’t exactly a tempting asset for bidders, as they would be on the hook for $19 million for the remaining five years of the contract.

Additionally, bidders would have had to jump through several hoops to actually win the contract, as the stadium’s owner could object to the deal and a bankruptcy court judge would have to approve it, as well.

Failure to find a bidder for the stadium naming rights may have been a welcome turn of events for the Broncos, which had previously expressed interest in wanting to prevent the contract from being sold at the bankruptcy auction, and to perhaps find a more lucrative deal with a new sponsor on its own.

The Metropolitan Football Stadium District is reportedly working to hire a marketing firm to help search for a new company to pay to put its name on Mile High Stadium, the Denver Business Journal reports, noting that the board cannot go forward with its search until after Aug. 1 or until after the naming rights contract with Sports Authority is officially severed.

Sports Authority’s auction included all of the company’s intellectual property, including he right to plaster their name on the field where the NFL’s Denver Broncos play, as well as the retailer’s name, domain names and customer mailing lists — for which Dick’s was the winning bidder.

Buying the intellectual property of Sports Authority allows Dick’s to open Sports Authority stores or an e-commerce site if it wanted to, but it probably won’t.

Instead, purchasing the mailing list and loyalty card member information means acquiring some customer names, especially in areas where it doesn’t currently have stores. Buying the brand means that no one else can own it.

No bidders for Mile High stadium naming rights, reports say [Denver Business Journal]