Denver Broncos Take Back Naming Rights Contract For Their Stadium

Image courtesy of Heath Alseike

Sports Authority is dead. The store merchandise is mostly gone, and the iMacs and foosball tables have been cleared out of the former headquarters building. There’s one important thing left, though: the naming rights to the arena where the Denver Broncos play. The remaining years on the retailer’s contract were for sale as part of the intellectual property auction, and there were no takers. Even after two deadline extensions, no one was interested, so the stadium authority and the team have taken the rights back.

Since filing for bankruptcy protection back in March, Sports Authority has missed two payments on the plan, which splits the fees between the Broncos and the entity that runs the taxpayer-financed stadium. While Sports Authority offered the naming rights in its intellectual property auction, bidders may have been skittish that they would pay auctioneer Hilco Streambank to assume the contract, only to have the deal itself and their proposal rejected by the team or stadium management.

For now, the stadium district is leaving the Sports Authority name up while seeking a new donor. Naming rights contracts have gone up in price since the original contract was signed in 2011, and as the reigning Super Bowl champions, they might even fetch more money. By leaving the name of a defunct retailer up, at least the stadium and the team don’t have to pay to change the signs.

The winning sponsor would have to meet the NFL’s approval: two cannabis-related businesses submitted serious bids, but would not have been approved by the league.

Broncos secure naming rights contract for Sports Authority Field at Mile High [KDVR]

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