Sports Authority, no more. Almost.
Monday, crews from Ad Light Group, a Denver-based sign company, began to disconnect the electrical wires behind the Sports Authority signs scattered around the Broncos facility. The process, while laborious, is expected to be completed within the next week or so, with the sign on the south side of the stadium coming down first.
The Broncos have yet to secure a new naming rights partner, but announced last week that they planned to remove the signs of the defunct company in the meantime. Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy in 2016 and the Broncos later assumed the remainder of Metropolitan Football Stadium District’s naming rights contract, worth about $20 million over five years.
The name will remain in place because of already-booked events inside the building and in the bowl itself, such as the upcoming Taylor Swift concert. The Broncos might hang a placeholder name until a new corporate sponsorship is finalized.
Despite calls for leaving the name as simply Mile High, securing a partner is paramount to maintaining and improving the stadium in the coming years, according to the team. The Broncos are footing the remainder of the naming rights deal without problem, but doing so long-term isn’t feasible. Broncos team president Joe Ellis has said that the projected cost to maintain and continuously upgrade the stadium is $650 million over the next 20 years.
“That is an important part to our capital funding moving forward. I’ve talked to you (the media) at length about some of the needs there, and they are extensive,” he said. “We have, I think, 13 seasons left on our lease, and I’d like to wrap up the naming rights deal and then extend that because the Broncos aren’t going anywhere. There are different components. It’s a complicated deal to put this together. I told many of you here last year, I’m not going to put an end date on that because it is important to get the right deal. We continue to have productive discussions with companies. I’m hoping we can get it resolved.”