By Melissa Garcia

DENVER (CBS4) – Sports Authority Inc. could be preparing to file for bankruptcy, according to business insiders. The major retailer skipped a $20 million interest payment in January.

The company’s financial troubles have some experts predicting changes for Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Denver natives know the venue as Mile High Stadium. Transplants may remember it as Invesco Field. Now, after five years as Sports Authority Field, the home of the Denver Broncos could be facing another name change.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

According to confidential sources, Sports Authority, once the biggest sporting goods chain in the U.S., is preparing to file for bankruptcy.

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

Duber-Smith said Sports Authority’s money troubles could be linked to its high-price investment in the stadium naming rights, a $60 million gamble that may not have paid off.

“You have to have additional money to spend in order to leverage that sponsorship, in order to get the maximum value out of that,” said Duber-Smith. “And there was every indication that they had pretty much blown a lot of their marketing budget.”

Sports Authority Field at Mile High (credit: CBS)

Sports Authority Field at Mile High (credit: CBS)

Now, the major retailer is said to be mapping out a plan to close as many as 200 of its 450 stores nationwide.

Duber-Smith said that bankruptcy would not necessarily mean the end of the company or the stadium’s namesake.

“In essence, they’re going to shrink, hopefully in order to get bigger later on,” said Duber-Smith. “It’s like retreating, and then living to fight another day.”

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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