Mile High Stadium naming rights were the butt of an April Fools' Day prank played by Native Roots. (AAron Ontiveroz, Denver Post file)

High hopes for pot shop’s name on Mile High? Not so fast

Native Roots made a splashy April Fools’ Day play: display and leaderboard ads plastered all over, a press release, an interview with CBS4, a call to The Cannabist’s Ricardo Baca, and a mock-up of a huge green marijuana leaf hanging below Bucky the Bronco on the side of Mile High Stadium.

(Native Roots)
(Native Roots)

On a day when one can’t believe much of anything on the Internet, the Denver-based marijuana dispensary bragged it had started the process to acquire the Mile High Stadium naming rights from current holder Sports Authority, which is wading through Chapter 11. At Native Roots at Mile High Stadium, the company would “explore the potential of offering joints and vaporizers to patrons over 21.”

Native Roots co-owner Rhett Jordan told Baca that his company “could definitely” afford the 10-year, $6 million to $7 million annual payment that comes with the naming rights (only if Sports Authority decides to relinquish them).

“It makes for a great April Fools’ laugh, but if we could get this done, we’d do it in a heartbeat,” Jordan said in an interview with Baca.

If Native Roots’ high hopes do extend beyond April Fools’ Day, it’s probably a pipe dream.

The NFL could not be reached on Friday for comment, but the league is not too keen on marijuana, which still is illegal under federal law. Also, state law places limits on outdoor advertising for recreational marijuana businesses and bars the consumption of marijuana in public.

And, significantly, officials for both the Denver Broncos and Sports Authority said Friday that Native Roots’ public proclamation was the first they’d heard of the company’s stadium-naming aspirations.

Ricardo Baca contributed to this post.

This story was first published on