Englewood-based Sports Authority files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Colorado-based sports goods giant Sports Authority filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday morning in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

“We are taking this action so that we can continue to adapt our business to meet the changing dynamics in the retail industry,” CEO Michael. Foss said. “We intend to use the Chapter 11 process to streamline and strengthen our business both operationally and financially so that we have the financial flexibility to continue to make necessary investments in our operations.”

The Englewood-based chain has already announced some closings and job losses. It could be facing even bigger cutbacks as it struggles to keep its doors open.

Despite the crowds that once mobbed the stores for SNIAGRAB and all the sales, Sports Authority is carrying debt of more than $1.1 billion. And according to some experts, that total could be more than $1 billion when everything is said and done.

Sports Authority missed a $21 million interest payment that was due on a loan last month. The company has identified two distribution centers and 140 of its 464 stores that it plans to close in the coming months. There is even talk it could sell everything to its rival, Dick’s Sports Goods.

The Chapter 11 filing will give the company time to reorganize, trim costs and about 3,400 of its 15,000 employees, and perhaps stay in business in some scaled-down form.

The full list of which stores that will be closed wasn’t available, but three Colorado stores plan to shut down: The Sports Castle at 1000 Broadway; the Greenwood Village store at 9000 E. Peakview Ave.; and the S.A. Elite store at 1750 29th St. in Boulder.

The big question is can the company afford to continue the naming rights for Sports Authority Field at Mile High. A $3.6 million payment for that is due in August and despite its financial troubles, the company has never missed a payment on the stadium deal.