Denver Broncos taking over naming rights to stadium

DENVER (AP) The Denver Broncos are taking over the naming rights to their stadium from Sports Authority but no signs are coming down yet.

After missing its $3.6 million contract payment Monday, Sports Authority asked a bankruptcy judge Tuesday to allow it to transfer the rights to the team.

The company declined to comment but in court filings it said it did not find anyone interested in paying cash for the rights. Those rights weren't free and clear though. The Broncos and the Metropolitan Football Stadium District, which built and oversees the taxpayer-built Sports Authority Field at Mile High, had maintained they had veto power over any potential deal.

''This acquisition streamlines the process for securing the best possible long-term partnership for the naming rights to our stadium,'' the Broncos said in a joint statement with the stadium district.

The Broncos are still sizing up the value of a deal and say there's no timetable for a new name. There's no word on whether a new deal would require that the name of the stadium include the phrase ''at Mile High'' in deference to the Broncos' original home.

Pending court approval of the transfer, the proceeds of a new naming rights deal would be split evenly between the Broncos and stadium district.

Sports Authority said in its motion that the Broncos would pay its missed payment and that the team would drop a separate $1 million claim against it in exchange for $50,000.

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Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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