DENVER — “Sports Authority Field at Mile High. That’s the name of the stadium.”
Those were the words of Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis on Wednesday when asked what to call the team’s home.
The stadium continues to bear the name of the sporting goods retailer more than a year after it filed for bankruptcy and closed all of its stores.
“There’s nothing today to report other than my forecast at this very meeting last year that we would hopefully have a deal done by today was wrong. I’m a little disappointed in that,” Ellis said on the eve of the Broncos opening training camp.
He said there are discussions ongoing but he would not say who was involved.
Last year, the Broncos emerged as the highest bidder to assume the contract for naming rights to the stadium after Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court granted the team the naming rights in November.
Sports Authority had five years left on its contract worth $19.2 million when the company filed for bankruptcy in March 2016.
“We’re taking our time. I know that’s frustrating to some of you and some of the fans because the name on the building is not well accepted, perhaps,” Ellis said.
“I’m not just going to rebrand it one time and then brand it back. We’re not going to do that. If we’re going to spend money to do those kinds of things, or take the time, we’re going to do it to make the game-day experience better for the fans.”
On the topic of changes at the stadium, Ellis said, “We have a lot of work to do, and the studies that we’ve done would indicate that it’s going to cost significant dollars to keep the stadium up to the standards that paying customers expect.”
When compared to stadiums in other cities, Ellis said, “Whatever happens out in Los Angeles is going to be pretty grand, and what happened down in Dallas is pretty grand. They’re only going to get better and we have to fight to keep up with that to some extent. … I do know that to modernize [Sports Authority Field at Mile High], constantly upgrade, to keep it up, is a big cost.”AlertMe