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Sports Authority Offers $150 Million to Name Broncos Stadium

Sports Authority Inc., the sporting goods retailer owned by private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP, offered more than $150 million over 25 years for the naming rights to the Denver Broncos’ Mile High Stadium.

Sports Authority won unanimous approval yesterday from the Metropolitan Football Stadium District in Denver to assume the final 10 years of the naming-rights agreement negotiated by money manager Invesco Ltd. The facility will be renamed the Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

“We were only approved for the 10-year deal, so we’ll go back to get the 15-year extension,” Jeff Schumacher, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Sports Authority, said in a telephone interview. “Over the 25 years, we’ll invest over $150 million.”

The amount includes upgrades to the $500 million stadium, which opened for the 2001 season, Schumacher said.

Sports Authority, based in Englewood, Colorado, and the Broncos approached Invesco about giving up the naming rights about a year ago.

Since it signed the 20-year, $120 million deal, Invesco has switched from being a seller of mutual funds directly to the public to one that sells through financial advisers, Doug Kidd, managing director of corporate affairs, said in a telephone interview from Atlanta.

“Our presence in Denver is smaller now,” Kidd said. “We thought this was a win-win and we can better align our marketing spin with the current way we sell funds.”

Sports Authority will “pick up all our rights and responsibility,” Kidd said.

More than 100 workers begin work today on enhancements to the stadium in time for the National Football League regular-season opener Sept. 12 against the Oakland Raiders, Schumacher said.

Sports Authority already supports high school and community stadiums in Colorado, Schumacher said, “but nothing to this level. This is the crown jewel to what we’re doing.”

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