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Status of Naming Rights Still Cloudy in Denver

Stadium Authority at Mile High

Months after naming rights partner Sports Authority filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, there is still uncertainty as to what the home of the Denver Broncos will be called going forward. 

The issue of the naming rights to Sports Authority Field at Mile High  has dragged on for months. A recent deadline to submit bids for a new agreement came and went without a formal submission, putting Sports Authority up against the clock in its contract with the stadium’s owner, the Denver Metropolitan Football Stadium District.

Sports Authority’s payments thus far have allowed it to keep the naming rights through August 1. Should the company fail to make its next payment, the contract would lapse after a 30-day waiting period, giving the stadium’s owner the full rights to sell the agreement.

While a fresh start seems ideal for the stadium district, the situation is more complicated than it appears. More from Denver Business Journal:

The district’s board members speculated at their meeting last month that taking over the existing naming rights contract may not be desirable, despite the Denver Broncos Super Bowl win in February.

A buyer would be on the hook for $19 million for the remaining five years. Most naming rights deals are for 10 years or more, Ray Baker chairman of the board said at the meeting.

Last month, the football district directed its staff to be ready to hire a marketing firm to help search for a new company to pay to put its name on Mile High Stadium. However, 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.

Over the last few months, there has been some question as to how this process will proceed. Even after it terminated its sponsorship agreement with the Broncos, Sports Authority sought to sell the naming rights deal–which was separate from its partnership with the Broncos–via asset auction. The contention from the stadium district was that such a move was unprecedented among previous naming rights agreements.

Image of Sports Authority Field at Mile High courtesy of the Denver Broncos

RELATED STORIES: Sports Authority Sponsorship of Denver Broncos Terminated, Naming Rights in Limbo

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August Publications