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Sports Authority to close all of its stores, including dozens in California

Sports Authority to close all of its stores, including dozens in California
Sports Authority, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, now plans to close all of its stores. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Sports Authority will close all of its 450-plus stores across the United States after it was unable to secure a buyer, according to a new court filing.

The liquidation includes dozens of stores in California. As of last month, the retailer had 76 stores in the state, according to its website.

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The Colorado-based company, which was once the largest sporting goods store chain in the country with stores in 41 states and Puerto Rico, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March with the intention to restructure.

As part of that restructuring, the company announced it would close 140 stores. But the retailer was unable to reach an agreement with creditors and lenders, and was instead sold at auction.

A group of liquidation companies bought Sports Authority's assets. Store leases will be sold off at another time.

It's unclear when stores will close. In the March filing, the chain said store closures would take up to three months. Stores will be offering going-out-of-business sales beginning next week.

Like other big-box retailers, Sports Authority struggled in recent years with new competitors online and in the bricks-and-mortar sphere.

Sports Authority was founded in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 1987. In 1990, Kmart acquired the company. In 2006, the company was bought by a private equity firm.

Sports Authority currently has the corporate naming rights to Sports Authority Field at Mile High, the stadium where the Denver Broncos play.

The retailer reported $3.5 billion in revenue last year and employs 16,000 people, according to Forbes magazine. Representatives from Sports Authority declined to comment.

Griffin writes for the Tampa Bay Times/McClatchy. 

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