The Sports Authority opened its first store in 1987 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In 1990, the company was acquired by Kmart.
By 1995, there were 136 stores in 26 states.
In 2003, Sports Authority merged with Gart Sports. Gart Sports was founded in 1928 and had nearly 200 locations at the time of the merger. All Gart Sports locations were renamed to Sports Authority.
In 2006, the company was purchased by Leonard Green & Partners in a leveraged buyout.
Today, the company operates over 450 stores in the United States. The company websites is operated by GSI Commerce.