DENVER — It’s the end of the road for Sports Authority. Instead of cutting back or restructuring, the Englewood-based company will now close down all stores across the country, including the 3 in Denver.
The sporting goods giant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March. On Sunday, signs were posted at the Broadway Sports Authority advertising big markdowns on every item.
Forbes reports that Sports Authority is more than one billion dollars 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,” said Luke Ritchie, Denver shopper.
Many customers dropped hundreds of dollars and left with even more than they expected.
“We got 3 North Face jackets and 1 Columbia jacket. The total was about $150 and I think normally we’d spend that much for any one of these jackets,” said Ritchie.
The company originally planned on closing only 140 stores to help dig them out of over $1 billion in 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,” said Ritchie.
The longtime sports Authority location on Broadway 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,” said Logan Johncox.
Some said the closure is disappointing.
“It’s a little bit of a sad passing, but it happens,” said Sam Dixon.
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,” said Dixon.
It’s unclear when the Denver stores will officially close their doors.