DENVER — The last remnants of the Sports Authority Field-era in Denver were wiped out on Wednesday morning.
The Broncos successfully petitioned the Metropolitan Football Stadium District board to temporarily rename Sports Authority Field at Mile High "Broncos Stadium at Mile High." The team is still looking for a permanent sponsor, a search that began when Sports Authority went bankrupt in early 2016.
Broncos CCO Mac Freeman had this to say about the temporary name-change:
"With the season fast approaching, we're pleased that the temporary name of 'Broncos Stadium at Mile High.' While fans will notice some new signage going up around the stadium reflecting this change, we remain completely focused on securing a long-term naming rights partner.
"We've had many productive conversations and are confident we'll identify the right partner, which is critical for ongoing improvements to our stadium. Inn this interim period, we'll continue to provide all the necessary resources to ensure our stadium remains a great place for fans and one of the top facilities in all of sports."
The move allows the team to separate themselves from a relationship with a company that is now two-years defunct.
The move may also be an effort to dissuade Denverites from referring to the Broncos' home as "Mile High Stadium." If fans make a habit of using its colloquial name rather than its technical name, the value of the naming rights could technically be driven down—companies paying millions of dollars in advertising want their names in peoples' mouths.
At his end of season press conference, Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis hinted at a temporary name-change, saying that he suspected they'd either find a new partner or a placeholder name by the start of the 2018 season.
The Broncos have 13 seasons left on their lease with the stadium. Ellis added that his plan is to find a new sponsor for the stadium and then extend the lease, keeping the Broncos in Denver even longer.
The stadium opened in 2001, under the name Invesco Field at Mile High, and has since hosted numerous events, including premier European soccer matches, A-list concerts and the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Sports Authority took over the naming rights in 2011.