DENVER (AP) – Until this week, sporting goods retailer Sports Authority Inc. has had its name on community stadiums in suburban Denver and Douglas County schools. On Tuesday, it won a deal to have its name on the stadium where the Denver Broncos play.

Invesco Field at Mile High will now be known as Sports Authority Field at Mile High, after the board of the Metropolitan Football Stadium District unanimously agreed to have Sports Authority take over the last 10 years of Invesco Ltd.’s $120 million, 20-year naming rights agreement.

The Invesco deal had called for Invesco to finish paying roughly $32 million through July 31, 2021.

The board will decide later whether to allow Englewood, Colo.-based Sports Authority to extend the naming agreement and for what price. Sports Authority had originally proposed a 25-year deal to assume the rest of Invesco’s term and also lock up naming rights through 2035 for $150 million, but the district board wanted to make sure the extension was competitive.

Dozens of Sports Authority employees planned to start working around the clock Wednesday to put the new name on the stadium in time for the Broncos’ regular season opener at home Sept. 12 against the Oakland Raiders for Monday Night Football.

“We’re excited,” Sports Authority chief marketing officer Jeff Schumacher said after the vote.

“My head of construction is on an IV right now,” he joked.

The stadium district oversaw construction of the facility, which replaced Mile High Stadium and was financed with private and taxpayer funds.

Polls showed fans preferred keeping the Mile High name, but in 2001, the district sold 20-year naming rights to Invesco for $120 million, with the stadium district and the Broncos splitting those revenues equally.

The district’s share of naming rights revenues helps defray taxpayers’ $300 million share of the $400 million cost of the stadium.

Longtime season ticket holder Karl Stecher of Centennial said he was disappointed the Mile High name was shoved aside in 2001. He urged the district Tuesday to consider a name of “Mile High Stadium, courtesy of Sports Authority,” but no one on the board took up his idea.

Board member Jack Hilbert said he was among those who wanted to keep the Mile High name in 2001, but he supported Sports Authority’s proposal after hearing the retailer’s plans to engage fans with cheeky slogans painted in areas that are now largely white, video booths where fans can record messages to players, and invitations for high school teams to hang their helmets inside the stadium.

“It’s the `and then somes’ I’m really liking,” Hilbert said.

“What this does is help bring this building to life,” Broncos President Joe Ellis said.

Doug Kidd, managing director for corporate affairs at Invesco, said the Sports Authority agreement allows Invesco to refocus its marketing resources now that its business model has changed. In 2001, Invesco was selling mutual funds directly to the public. These days, it sells mostly through financial advisers and doesn’t have as many employees in Denver any more.

“We looked at this offer as presented by the Broncos and Sports Authority as a win for all the parties,” Kidd said. Invesco still plans to have a suite and some signs at the stadium, though far less than before, Kidd said.

– By Catherine Tsai, AP Writer

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (6)
  1. J.Q. Public says:

    It should be called “Taxpayers took it in the shorts field”

  2. Al says:

    Who gets the Money

  3. Thomas Maddox says:

    It didn’t matter. Money talks and the rest of us walk. If you have lived in Denver for more than 5 years. the stadium is and always will be MILE HIGH STADIUM.

  4. Jim Freilinger says:

    Mile High Stadium!!! Always will be. Maybe if it were called “Sports Authority Mile High Stadium”!!

  5. Christopher Anderson says:

    really? this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard…..TACKY!!!

  6. Billigflug Mallorca Frankfurt says:

    Elsewhere Creation,ball artist care here chance administration front increase metal get nice noise select theatre party campaign bit off largely paper human argument fish attitude capacity appeal extremely victim retain combination index education laugh sell suggestion neck alone arm book during not use usual world recently anyone instance provide connect teach suffer explain argument easily local high strike wing deal keep candidate authority spot library death apply significant well result advise search faith school heat else train generally whole rock danger speech anything percent

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