The Sports Authority store at Bellis Fair likely won’t be empty for long once it leaves, as another sporting goods retailer has taken over the lease.
Dick’s Sporting Goods was the high bidder on 31 Sports Authority leases across the U.S., including the one in Bellingham. Sports Authority is in bankruptcy court and closing stores across the country, with the Bellingham store expected to close in August. Dick’s was also the high bidder on the Sports Authority name, trademarks and customer database, according to court documents.
While there is still work to be done to finalize the transaction, including an asset sale hearing in court on July 15, it does appear Dick’s is coming to Bellis Fair, said Rene Morris, general manager of the mall.
“It looks like it is happening and we are very excited about it,” Morris said. “We hear all the time from customers about the need for this kind of store. When they heard Sports Authority was closing, many of them said to bring in Dick’s.”
Attempts to reach a spokesperson at Dick’s on Thursday afternoon, June 30, were unsuccessful.
Morris said Dick’s has shown interest in taking the entire space, but for now she is waiting to hear back from the company on the details.
Sports Authority opened its 49,000-square-foot Bellis Fair store in August 2013. It took over the anchor space formerly occupied by Sears and ended up with about 31,000 square feet of leftover space that it had planned to sublease.
Dick’s Sporting Goods is a chief rival to Sport Authority, offering a wide variety of sports equipment, including team sports gear. The company opened a store in Burlington in September 2014 and has five stores in Washington state. The company headquarters is near Pittsburgh.