clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Horse Tracks: Stadium naming rights another missing piece in Broncos puzzle

The best fit for this is a Colorado business that is both successful and is as much an institution here as the Broncos.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country!

We're in the homestretch. So we hope.

No, this time it has nothing to do with Von Miller. This is about the stadium naming rights for the Denver Broncos.

With Sports Authority doing its best Invesco impression and going bankrupt, the naming rights to Mile High Stadium are once again up for auction. One media personality went so far as to proclaim it "embarrassing" and the Broncos "need to get it right." Really? That's a hot take if there ever was one.

Yes, because the organization and Metropolitan Football Stadium District has a Delorean they use to travel into the future, see what happens, go back to the past and fix it before they accept any bid. The flux capacitor must not have been working for these last two naming-rights contracts.

As I said last week, I hate this time of year.

We can only hope the franchise and the stadium district can right this utter embarrassment, and sooner rather than later. How can they do anything with this looming over their heads? Perhaps that's why it's taking so long to extend Miller.

With training camp just about two weeks away and the preseason shortly after, one would think this gets resolved soon. Installing the new name on the stadium and printing it on all publications can't be a quick task. It will take some time. I feel for the graphic designer pegged to design the new logo.

What we do know at this point is that Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy in March, and put the naming rights up for sale as part of a court-supervised auction that the Broncos and stadium district are fighting.

According to Reuters, last week's auction failed to attract any bidders.

"The contract for the naming rights up for grabs extends until 2021, and comes with a $3.6 million payment obligation due Aug. 1," Reuters said in its story last week.

While Reuters adds Sports Authority is current on payments, that doesn't mean much given the current bankrupt state of the company.

It's not far fetched, and perhaps even expected, that Sports Authority defaults on its $3.6 million payment come Aug. 1. The heavy financial trouble the company is in gives credence to that. In total, Sports Authority pays upward of $6 million a year for the naming rights.

We think it's a great opportunity for a company to partner with us. Our brand's connection to this market is incredibly special.Mac Freeman, Broncos senior vice president of business development

Multiple reports show the Broncos have filed their own motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, arguing that the team must give written approval before selling the stadium naming rights or its sponsorship of the franchise. In other words, they want to ensure Sports Authority can't and doesn't sell naming rights to make a profit. That still awaits final ruling from the court, and is the biggest hold up at this point.

According to The Denver Post, that hasn't kept the team from having discussions with companies, "to gauge their interest in the naming rights."

"We think it's a great opportunity for a company to partner with us," Mac Freeman, the Broncos' senior vice president of business development, told The Post at the end of June. "Our brand's connection to this market is incredibly special. On top of it, this city is in a really special time."

In terms of who those companies are, all The Post story indicates it's "at least a dozen companies -€” some current partners, some not."

One industry we can rule out is pot shops. The Westword in Denver reported that the Broncos will not consider any bids from the marijuana industry.

Reuters also reported that Dick's Sporting Goods Inc has not expressed interest in the naming rights (at least publicly). Hopefully that remains the case, because I'm one who doesn't want the name associated with the Broncos or the stadium at all.

For those who have wanted the Broncos to just go with Mile High Stadium, that's not an option at this point.

As The Post story said, the naming-rights partner is critical for the future preservation and operation of the stadium. The team and the district have invested $100 million in the stadium during its first 16 years and anticipate spending another $300 million in the next 30 years, The Post story added.

"Most partners that we're talking to understand the fans' connection to Mile High," Freeman told The Post.

The best fit for this is a Colorado business that is both successful and is as much an institution here as the Broncos. One that is both successful, will remain so for the foreseeable future (won't file for bankruptcy) and has gained the trust of Broncos Country.

With so much speculation surrounding the Broncos, namely Miller, Emmanuel Sanders and who the starting quarterback will be, it's only fitting the stadium naming rights represents one more piece to the overall puzzle.

We can only hope we're in the homestretch.

Broncos Tracks

Broncos focusing on signing, not trading Von Miller |
Although trading away Von Miller might be the Denver Broncos' best backup option as the deadline approaches,it appears the team is focusing solely on working out a long-term deal with their Super Bowl 50 MVP.

Trevor Siemian has shot to start for Denver Broncos -
It isn't very common for a Super Bowl championship squad to revert to its third string quarterback as it begins a title defense.

Denver Broncos safety Will Parks aims to establish himself as a true professional | Mile High Sports
Will Parks knows there will be a lot of adjustments from college to the NFL, but the biggest is learning how to be a professional

Trevor Pryce among best interior defensive linemen in Broncos history | Broncos Wire
A look at the greatest defensive tackles to ever don the blue and orange.

Hooked Part Two: Jake Plummer battling NFL’s shielded views
Former Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer opens up on alcohol use NFL, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and misconceptions of CBD.

AFC West Tracks

The Kansas City Chiefs have the best coach in the AFC West - Arrowhead Pride
Really? Guess clock management or rings were conveniently left out of this "ranking."

Chiefs future power rankings bring up interesting questions about Alex Smith - Arrowhead Pride
ESPN did a piece on future power rankings where they ranked how teams are set up in a few categories over the next three years. The Kansas City Chiefs came in 11th. Fair enough.

Oakland Raiders' Position Battles: Offensive Line
Time for an early look at the Silver and Black's offensive line as the team prepares for Training Camp 2016.

ESPN panel ranked NFL team future success and somehow Raiders still third in division - Silver And Black Pride
The Raiders finished third in the AFC West last season and despite signs they will improve, an ESPN panel thinks that’s where they will stay the next few years.

Chargers 'convadium' plan heading to ballot |
The Chargers secured enough valid signatures for the team’s proposal to raise local hotel taxes to pay for a downtown "convadium" to appear on the November ballot, San Diego City Clerk Liz Maland said Saturday afternoon.

Chargers ranked as having 12th-best quarterback situation in NFL - Bolts From The Blue
San Diego's QB situation is still better than league average.

NFL Tracks

LOOK: The Rock reveals the current NFL coach he would love to play for -
The former Miami Hurricane player seems to be a big fan of one particular NFL head coach

The NFL is hiring a Snapchat editor to build a new Discover channel
The National Football League is building a team for its channel on Snapchat Discover, the mobile storytelling app’s network of media publishers.

Predicting best NFL newcomer in all eight divisions
Which newcomer will make the biggest immediate impact in each division this season? Our NFL Nation reporters give their picks, which include mixed opinions in the NFC East.

Ranking the top 10 running backs in the NFL | FOX Sports
For a position that's dominated by young players, 31-year-old Adrian Peterson is still at the top.

Lions' Geoff Schwartz guest-writes Monday Morning QB | The MMQB with Peter King
Lions guard Geoff Schwartz is guest columnist this week and describes how he’s stuck around through five teams and nine seasons (and counting). Plus thoughts on player arrests, contracts and social media.

NFL wife terror Miko Grimes is back — and worse than ever | New York Post
Miko Grimes went after her favorite target again — and threw in some casual anti-Semitism for disgraceful measure.

Jags owner: Fans should expect 'winning organization' -
Jaguars owner Shad Khan knows a great team isn't built overnight. But after toiling through a rebuild that has spanned multiple seasons, he thinks visible results are around the corner.

Ricky Williams says he was drug tested a ridiculous high number of times in NFL -
The former running back says he was drug tested at least 500 times while in the NFL.

NFL Makes Slight Change To Football Procedure Rules After Deflategate | NFL |
It's been more than 18 months since Deflategate happened, but it still finds ways to make appearances in the NFL news cycle.