Pubdate: Mon, 04 Apr 2016
Source: Washington Times (DC)
Copyright: 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.
Author: Valerie Richardson


DENVER - One of Colorado's top marijuana businesses wants to keep the 
"high" in the Denver Broncos' Mile High Stadium.

Native Roots, which operates 14 medical and recreational dispensaries 
in Colorado, is prepared to make an offer for the naming rights of 
the NFL team's stadium, now called Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

"We may breathe green but we bleed orange," said Josh Ginsberg, CEO 
of Native Roots, in a press release. "Just like John Denver so 
memorably sang in 'Rocky Mountain High,' it only makes sense that the 
company which gains the new naming rights of Mile High be reflective 
of Colorado."

The announcement that the company has "begun the process of acquiring 
the naming rights" came on April Fool's Day, but "this is not an 
April Fool's joke," said Native Roots founding partner Rhett Jordan.

"We have a ton of pride in the Broncos, we're a large corporation in 
Colorado," Mr. Jordan told TV station KMGH-7, the local ABC affiliate.

Sports Authority has a contract with the Denver Broncos for the next 
four years, but the company declared bankruptcy March 2, leading to 
questions over whether it would be able to make its next $6 million 
payment in August.

"We're just preparing for if they do [default]," Mr. Jordan told the 
city's CBS affiliate, KCNC-4. "We're always on the cutting edge of 
everything in the state of Colorado, we've always been huge fans of 
the Broncos, and we felt like this was an opportunity to bring two 
brilliant brands together."

The company would like to see the arena renamed "Native Roots Stadium 
at Mile High." The multimillion-dollar commitment is no obstacle, 
said Mr. Jordan, although state law restricting outdoor advertising 
on marijuana dispensaries could present a problem.

Marijuana use is prohibited under federal law, and it's also a banned 
substance for NFL players.

The Denver Broncos released a statement Friday expressing confidence 
in Sports Authority's ability to continue as the owner of the 
stadium's naming rights.

"Sports Authority has been a great partner for many years and we 
certainly hope to keep it that way," said the statement.

Comments by fans on social media show that most would prefer to see 
the arena called Mile High Stadium, with no corporate name.

In terms of propriety, pot fans have pointed out that nearby Coors 
Field, the home of MLB's Colorado Rockies, bears the name of a beer, 
although it's also the name of the prominent Coors family of Golden, Colorado.

Colorado was the first state to unveil a regulated 
recreational-marijuana market for adults 21 and over after voters 
approved a legalization measure on the November 2012 ballot.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom