Naming rights sale for Mile High gets punted to next week

The deadline for accepting bids on the naming rights contract for Sports Authority Field at Mile High has been extended until next Monday.

Hilco Streambank, the firm tasked with handling the transaction, had originally set a final deadline for Tuesday, July 19.

So why the extension?

Hilco is also overseeing the complete liquidation of Sports Authority, including selling off the brand name, website, store inventory and all other assets.  They claim that they’ve not had enough time to focus on moving the naming rights contract.

“Reach out started literally not that long ago,” the firm’s executive vice president Jack Hazan said. “People just need more time to get their hands around it a little bit.”

There are 5 football seasons still remaining under the contract, so whoever buys the rights would assume the existing contractual payments of about $6 million for each of the final years on the deal.

How Did We Get Here?

The stadium’s naming rights contract was originally entered into by Invesco Funds in 2001.  But a decade later, the company had switched strategies and stopped marketing themselves to general consumers.

Owning the rights to an NFL stadium didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

 The once mighty sporting goods retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year

So as part of that move away from mass marketing, Invesco sold the Mile High naming rights contract to Sports Authority in 2011.

Most Sports Authority stores around the nation are now either closed or in their final days of inventory liquidation sales.

The once mighty sporting goods retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year. Soon after, they were forced to accept plans to wind down operations and auction off all of the company’s assets.

The chain had deep roots in Denver, where Gart Sports was founded in 1928.  Gart merged with Sports Authority in 2003, and the combined company continued to acquire other chains as part of an on-going consolidation in the sporting goods retail space.

Despite what you may have heard, the NFL and Broncos have the right to veto any deals that don’t meet certain standards, so don’t expect any of Colorado’s legal marijuana firms to swoop in.

For more of the latest Denver-area sports news, remember to follow Mile High Maniac on Facebook and Twitter.