There will be a new name on the building where the Oklahoma City Thunder plays its home games, but it’s not clear what that name will be or when the change will take place. Chesapeake Energy Arena will be renamed after Chesapeake Energy Corp. terminated its naming rights, effective immediately, the team announced Tuesday. Chesapeake, which recently emerged from bankruptcy, had a 12-year agreement worth $34 million for the naming rights beginning in 2011.
More Rumors in this Storyline
That agreement, along with various others between Chesapeake Energy and the team’s ownership group, were voided as part of the energy company’s bankruptcy process. A timeline for finding a new naming rights partner was not immediately provided by the Thunder. The building, which is owned by Oklahoma City and was opened in 2002, will continue to be called Chesapeake Energy Arena in the interim.
“As we move toward a transition to a new naming rights partner for our arena, we would like to recognize our extraordinary history with Chesapeake Energy,” Thunder chairman Clay Bennett said in a statement. “For a decade, the arena has proudly bore its name and we thank Chesapeake, one of our founding partners, for its loyal support and partnership.”
While the name may be changing, Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler remains a fan of the team. “We have greatly appreciated our long-standing partnership with the Thunder, and while our commitment to restoring our balance sheet and increasing our competitiveness required us to terminate our naming rights agreement, as proud Oklahomans, we will continue to strongly support the team,” Lawler said in a statement.
MAPS 4 could direct $120 million to $135 million toward upgrades and expansion of Chesapeake Energy Arena and improvements of the city-owned Oklahoma City Thunder practice facility. Keeping the city’s arena competitive among NBA teams and on the concert circuit was the focus of one of four MAPS 4 presentations reviewed by the city council Tuesday.
Many of the ideas for MAPS 4 investments are geared toward enhancing amenities for basketball fans, such as wider concourses and new eating and drinking options, expanding the building’s footprint by 70,000 square feet. Locker rooms would get a makeover, in part to accommodate the increasing number of women being hired in roles, including NBA coaches. A new scoreboard and larger video screens offering higher definition and greater clarity would replace current technology; seats and elevators would be replaced.
Storyline Hype Rumor visits per day for the last week
Views per day
May 12, 2021 | 9:18 pm EDT Update
Ryan Ward: Frank Vogel on if LeBron will play in the final two games: “There’s a chance, but we’re literally taking this thing one day at a time.”
Tim Reynolds: Washington’s Davis Bertans just made the NBA’s 26,375th 3-pointer of the season. And with that, the NBA’s record for 3-pointers per game has officially fallen — for the ninth consecutive season.