Deadline to bid for stadium naming rights passes

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DENVER -- The deadline for companies to bid to put their name on Sports Authority Field at Mile High passed Monday afternoon.

But it might be awhile before it's known what the new name of the stadium will be.

Bidders are looking to take over the last five years of Sports Authority's contract after that company went bankrupt.

The Metro Stadium District hopes those naming rights will bring in $20 million to help pay for maintenance of the stadium. Just paying for upkeep on the 15-year-old stadium over the next 30 years is expected to cost about $300 million.

"They might have a bidder and they'll begin evaluating that. ... They could also extend the deadline again," Metro Stadium Board attorney Craig Umbraugh said.

Longtime season-ticket holder Karl Secher told the board he has been fighting naming rights for 20 years.

"Why should Denver, the Mile High City, Colorado be for sale to some little company?" he asked the board. "I hope I speak for thousands, maybe millions of fans."

But the board has little choice after the original bonds to build the stadium expired in 2011. Board members were under the impression at least one company had placed a bid, but their lawyer said that's not certain.

"We'll see what names do arise and I guess we're making the assumption there will be names," board chairman Ray Baker said.

Even the board doesn't know if the judge in the Sports Authority bankruptcy case will move the deadline. Board members said they need the naming rights revenue to pay for upkeep.

Sports Authority's next payment is due Aug. 1 and it has 30 days after that to get it in.

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