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Sports Authority closing all 450 stores nationwide

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NEW YORK — Sports Authority will be closing all 450 stores after filing for bankruptcy in March, according to Forbes.com.

The sporting goods brand had initially said it would be closing 143 stores in 27 states. However, the company is more than $1.1. billion in debt and won’t be able to reorganize, Forbes reported.

Sports Authority has not publicly announced a closing date.

The company has 14,500 full- and part-time employees at its 450 stores and offices, according to the bankruptcy filing. Nearly two-thirds of those workers are part-time.

When the company was bought by a hedge fund 10 years ago, it was the largest sporting goods retailer. But it has struggled with the debt load associated with a leveraged buyout a decade ago. It has been overtaken by Dick’s Sporting Goods, which has grown by providing a more high end shopping experience.

Store closings are a growing trend among troubled retailers not in bankruptcy, such as Sears. Even successful retailers like Walmart are closing stores.

For Sports Authority, the online competition has come from online retailers such as Amazon and Fanatics, and also retail sites run by sports leagues such as the NFL and NBA.

Sports Authority spends $6 million a year to have its name on the stadium that is home to the Denver Broncos, which just won the Super Bowl. Whether that 25-year naming rights deal will continue under the bankruptcy is unclear.

Forbes reports that most of the company’s assets will go up for auction by May 16.

No closing date has been announced, and Forbes also reports that consumers can expect cheaper merchandise in the coming weeks as part of the company’s nationwide liquidation.