Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City in search of a new name
Chesapeake Energy announced today that it will no longer sponsor the Oklahoma City Thunder home.
I think a lot of people saw this one coming after stories started coming out of Chesapeake Energy going bankrupt. According to the New York Times, the company has accumulated around $ 20 billion in debt and that dates back to 2013. In 2019, they brought that number down to around $ 9.5 billion. The company is still in the process of restructuring and believes that it is better to no longer sponsor the arena.
In 2011, they signed a twelve-year contract with the Thunder for the naming rights to the arena. It cost them three million in the first year and each year thereafter they would pay an additional 3% of that three million dollar price. It is not cheap to put your name on an installation.
“As the Chesapeake Energy Arena, our building has been the site of many exciting and historic moments and events. As we seek to forge a new naming rights partnership, we will identify a partner who will help build on this history and will be the centerpiece of our growing, modern and vibrant downtown environment, ”Clayton I. Bennett, president of the Oklahoma City Thunder, said in a press release.
Prior to the Thunder’s arrival at the OKC, this arena was previously called the Ford Center from 2002 to 2010. When the Thunder moved in, it couldn’t come to an agreement with the Oklahoma Ford Dealers Group. They had bought the rights at the time, not the Ford company as a whole. Maybe they want to get the name back?
We’ll wait and see if anyone makes any offers.