ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — It soon could be the end of the road for Sports Authority. Instead of cutting back or restructuring, the company will sell off its assets and could close all of its stores across the country, including the three in Denver, according to Forbes.
A decision to close more than 450 stores nationwide has not been made.
The sporting goods giant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March. On Sunday, signs were posted at the Broadway Sports Castle advertising big markdowns on every item.
Forbes reports Sports Authority is more than $1 billion in debt, an unrecoverable amount unless the entire company is put on the auction block.
“We didn’t realize it would happen as quickly as it did,” shopper Luke Ritchie said.
Many customers dropped hundreds of dollars and left with even more than they expected.
“We got three North Face jackets and one Columbia jacket. The total was about $150 and I think normally we’d spend that much for any one of these jackets,” Ritchie said.
The company originally planned to close only 140 stores to help dig out of the massive debt. But according to court documents filed in April, the retailer will liquidate all assets by closing all 450 stores nationwide.
“It’s a little surprising. You hear of the Main Street stores not surviving because of big-box stores like this, but it makes sense with Amazon and online purchasing that even these big stores would be having trouble,” Ritchie said.
The longtime sports Authority location on Broadway 10th Avenue with its castle-like architecture has been a staple for many Denver natives.
“I played baseball all my young childhood, so I’d come here all the time for whatever I needed,” Logan Johncox said.
Some said the closure is disappointing.
“It’s a little bit of a sad passing, but it happens,” Sam Dixon said.
But shoppers like Dixon couldn’t pass up on a good deal.
“I was actually hoping to get something from last year or from a pawn shop. So this is actually a better deal for a brand new bike,” Dixon said.
It’s unclear when the Denver stores will officially close their doors.