Sports Authority's issues may hurt Chula Vista

Posted at 6:26 PM, May 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-02 21:26:53-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Sporting goods company Sports Authority is in trouble, and all of its San Diego County stores could soon close.

The closures could severely affect Chula Vista, where sports are a large part of the residential areas.

"Every weekend, all weekend," said real estate agent and Chula Vista resident Laura Steffen, who helps families find homes all the time.

"Many of them are drawn to the area because of our athletics," she said. "The Little Leagues out here are just tremendous."

Teams from Park View, Eastlake and Sweetwater Valley all appeared in the Little League World Series in the past decade. Park View won the world title, while Eastlake won the U.S. championship.

Baseball is just one of the many popular sports in the South Bay city, and many of those families participating in those sports shop at the only Sports Authority in town, on H Street.

"It's the only anchor store here in the South Bay," said Steffen. "It's Sports Authority and Big 5. That's all we've got and Big 5's a very, very small store."

Steffen's children play baseball, dance, and wrestle.

"I would say each year I probably spend $2,500 minimum every year," she said. "I probably need stock."

Unfortunately, the Wall Street Journal said the retail chain is $1 billion in debt. Forbes said the 463 stores nationwide will be auctioned off and could close.

"For us, it's a huge problem because if I don't go there I have to drive to El Cajon," said Steffen.

The city has been dealt several blows the past couple of years with big stores like Target, Albertsons, Haggen and Kmart closing.

"I hope it stays," Steffen said of Sports Authority. "I would hate to see it go."

10News tried to email and call the Sports Authority corporate headquarters in Colorado, but the retailer has not responded.

A manager inside the Chula Vista location said he did not know what the future holds for the store or retail chain.