WisePies is expected to end its naming rights partnership for the University of New Mexico‘s WisePies Arena, the school announced on Thursday. The decision is pending the approval of the university’s board of regents.
In its announcement, UNM said that it has “formally asked WisePies Pizza & Salad to relinquish the current naming rights agreement for WisePies Arena.” The university also stated that it has a pending deal for a multi-facility naming rights partnership in place, and that the new agreement could be announced in the near future.
“I want to thank Steve Chavez and WisePies Pizza & Salad for stepping up in 2014 and showing the state of New Mexico that naming athletic facilities is a viable and valuable asset for businesses in our community,” said vice president for athletics Paul Krebs. “It really helped pave the way for Santa Ana Star Field for our baseball team and our upcoming agreement.”
Krebs added, “Steve Chavez is a passionate supporter of not just athletics, but The University of New Mexico. This will allow him to reallocate his support elsewhere at UNM where it is needed.”
Steve Chavez, who recently acquired 100% ownership of WisePies Pizza & Salad, was on board with the naming rights change to help facilitate a new agreement provided it is a better opportunity for the university. University Arena was renamed WisePies Arena on December 1, 2014 in a ceremony at the facility. The original naming rights agreement was a $5 million commitment over 10 years. WisePies Pizza & Salad has paid through the first three years of the agreement, with all payments current and received.
“We have enjoyed our partnership with UNM Athletics, and would expect it to continue in a different capacity in the future,” said Chavez. “Being associated with a building that is considered the crown jewel of New Mexico has been great for both ourselves and UNM. We were happy to continue as the naming rights partner for WisePies Arena, but when we were approached by UNM about this, knowing how much it would help the university, we were happy to step aside.”