DENVER (CBS4) – CBS4 has learned two metro area Sports Authority distribution centers are closing, leaving dozens without jobs. The news comes after reports the company could be filing for bankruptcy.

It cost Sports Authority millions to have its name up at Mile High Stadium, but CBS4’s Howard Nathan confirmed it wasn’t just a one-time payment, which is often the case with stadium naming rights. Sports Authority has been paying $6 million per year, according to the Metropolitan Football Stadium District, with at least four more years to go.

Sports Authority Field at Mile High (credit: CBS)

Sports Authority Field at Mile High (credit: CBS)

On Thursday several employees at a Denver Sports Authority distribution center confirmed they’ll be closed by the end of April. A similar distribution center in Aurora will close as well. Both employ about 60 people each.

The news was delivered by upper management this week. One employee told CBS4 the mood is not good inside the facility on Kalamath in Denver. Another said one person has been working there for more than 30 years. A third employee told CBS4 personnel were encouraged by management to leave early as they start looking for a new job.

The Sports Authority in Denver (credit: CBS)

The Sports Authority in Denver (credit: CBS)

The news came as word is brewing that Sports Authority may be facing bankruptcy.

“They have missed a debt payment, that’s a big deal, you don’t do that unless you’re running out of money,” said Darren Duber-Smith, marketing professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Sports Authority

As for that big sign on Mile High Stadium, Nathan’s source with the company told him employees questioned the wisdom of spending millions on a sign.

“You’ve got Dick’s Sporting Goods, who’s a competitor, and they’ve got their name on the Kroenke soccer field — Dick’s Sporting Goods Park — so I think there’s a lot of pressure for Sports Authority to keep their name on the stadium because you don’t want your competitor to one up you in your home market,” Duber-Smith said.

Dozens of other stores are rumored to be on the chopping block.

Sports Authority has yet to respond for comment.

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