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Sports Authority closing all its stores, including Bellingham

Jodene Oberlander of Bellingham picks out commemorative Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl shirts for her family at the Sports Authority at Bellis Fair mall Feb. 3, 2014. Sports Authority will close all 450 stores, including the one in Bellingham, after going bankrupt.
Jodene Oberlander of Bellingham picks out commemorative Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl shirts for her family at the Sports Authority at Bellis Fair mall Feb. 3, 2014. Sports Authority will close all 450 stores, including the one in Bellingham, after going bankrupt. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

As Sports Authority begins its closing business sale, including its Bellis Fair location, the mall is already making moves to replace that key anchor space.

The sports retailer announced through court documents in bankruptcy court that it is liquidating all 450 of its stores. According to the documents, store closing sales will begin around Wednesday, May 25, and can go through the end of August.

Bellis Fair General Manager Rene Morris said they are currently in negotiations for that space but couldn’t announce the name of the potential tenant at this point.

“We are sorry to see Sports Authority close,” Morris said. “They have been a great retailer for Bellis Fair and our community.”

Sports Authority filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year in an attempt to reorganize. An auction was held earlier this month, but it did not produce buyers to take over the stores and keep them operating.

A group of liquidators won the Monday, May 16, auction to buy the inventory and liquidate it. According to a Bloomberg article, it’s unlikely the company will raise enough money to repay the approximately $646 million it owes lower-ranking creditors.

Sports Authority opened its 49,000-square-foot Bellis Fair store in August 2013. While the store offers a wide variety of sports equipment, clothing and shoes, it also has a big focus on team sports. It carries gear for those playing sports such as baseball, football, soccer, lacrosse and basketball.

Sports Authority took over the space formerly occupied by Sears and ended up with about 31,000 square feet of leftover space that it had planned to sublease.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

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