City Sports

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City Sports
Industry Sportswear and athletic equipment
Fate Bankruptcy
Founded Boston, Massachusetts, United States (1983)
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts[1], United States
Products Clothing, shoes and equipment
Owner Highland Capital Partners
Website City Sports

City Sports was an American sporting goods retailer that underwent liquidation in 2015. The chain operated mostly on the east coast of the United States. Its chief products included athletic apparel, footwear, and equipment. Founded in 1983 by Mike Kennedy and Eric Martin, two Boston locals,[2] the company grew across state borders and operated 27 stores in eight states.[3]


In November 1983, high school friends and tennis partners Mike Kennedy and Eric Martin were living and working in Boston[2] and were frequently unable to find quality branded sporting goods merchandise in a single downtown location to satisfy their year-round athletic interests. Frustrated with their lack of success in finding the appropriate gear, they opened the first City Sports location on Massachusetts Avenue and began selling quality sporting goods merchandise with an emphasis on running and racquet sports.

Over the next thirty years, City Sports grew into an award winning specialty sports retailer in metropolitan locations along the east coast. At its peak, the company operated 27 stores across seven states (Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Vermont and Washington, D.C.).[3]


City Sports blended premium brands with authentic niche products that have limited distribution.

In addition to the core "City Sports” running, yoga, swimming and racquet sport products, City Sports also offered an appropriate presentation of traditional team sports, sports-style and market specific licensed goods.

Acquisition by Highland Consumer Fund[edit]

On March 11, 2008, the company announced that it had been acquired by the Highland Consumer Fund, a subsidiary of Highland Capital Partners, an investment firm.[4] Highland purchased an 80% stake in the company, and planned to nearly triple the number of stores within the next five years. Ultimately, Highland estimated that the business had the potential to grow to around 300 stores across the United States.[5] Both parties declined to release financial details of the deal.

Bankruptcy and liquidation[edit]

City Sports Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on October 5, 2015,[6] with assets and liabilities of between $10 million and $50 million. The filing, made in the United States Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware, listed the sporting retailer's biggest creditors as Nike (which is owed $1.27 million), Under Armour ($1.03 million), Asics ($1.03 million), and Patagonia ($1.01 million). On November 5, it was announced that all 27 City Sports stores would close; liquidation sales at all of the stores began the following day. The remaining assets of the company were divided between two companies in Illinois and Boston.


  1. ^ "City Sports: Corporate Directory". Retrieved 2006-07-31. 
  2. ^ a b "City Sports: About Us". Retrieved 2006-07-31. 
  3. ^ a b "City Sports: Store Locator". Retrieved 2006-07-31. 
  4. ^ "City Sports Announces Acquisition and Strategic Investment from the Highland Consumer Fund". Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  5. ^ Abelson, Jenn (2008-03-11). "Taking City Sports to a lot more places". Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  6. ^ "City Sports Chapter 11 Petition" (PDF). PacerMonitor. PacerMonitor. Retrieved 15 June 2016.