Future of Steamboat’s Sports Authority uncertain after company abandons reorganization plans | SteamboatToday.com

Future of Steamboat’s Sports Authority uncertain after company abandons reorganization plans

Scott Franz

Sports Authority was saddled with $1.1 billion in debt.

— Steamboat Springs residents are once again calling their largest sporting good store to offer their condolences and seek big discounts.

According to national news reports, debt-saddled Sports Authority, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, is now planning to sell off all of its assets after abandoning a plan to reorganize.

The move could result in the closure of all 467 of Sports Authority’s stores, according to a report from Forbes.

The company’s assets will reportedly go up for auction May 16.

Some stores could potentially stay open if they are bought by another sporting good retailer.

The manager of the store at Wildhorse Marketplace in Steamboat is hopeful his store can carry on after surviving the initial round of store closures announced in March.

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“Honestly, it’s kind of a waiting game at this point,” manager Dan Harvey said. “Our significant others, our spouses and friends are coming up and asking (about the future of the store). All we can do is remain positive and try to take care of business and hope for a good outcome.”

Harvey also raised the possibility of Sports Authority’s assets being purchased by a private equity firm or a combination of private equity firms.

Forbes initially reported over the weekend the retailer had already decided to close all of its stores, but the news organization issued a correction saying the decision has not been made.

Harvey said Monday the news of his store’s closure is premature. He said he has not been told he has to close his doors.

“I think the only chance that becomes reality is if another retailer buys us, and we change our name,” Harvey said.

According to the Denver Post, a company lawyer told a bankruptcy judge last week that creditors had made the planned reorganization of the company “impossible” and Sports Authority would pursue selling off its assets.

The company is $1.1 billion in debt.

Seeing the ominous headlines, some residents in Steamboat are already calling the store asking for big discounts in advance of a closure.

“We’ve had people calling in asking ‘can we get 70 to 80 percent off of firearms,'” Harvey said Monday. “We’ve had other local business owners reach out with their condolences.”

The Steamboat store wasn’t on the chopping block in March when Sports Authority announced it was closing 142 stories as part of a plan to reorganize.

In a Monday article titled “Why Sports Authority is likely to close all 463 stores?”, Fortune cited a Bloomberg News report that Sports Authority’s financial adviser told a bankruptcy court judge that “existing takeover offers were barely enough to cover (the chain’s) $100 million in administrative and liquidation costs.”

“At best, it looks as though some Sports Authority locations could live on but under a different banner,” Fortune reported.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10