ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It was a controversial idea putting a corporate name on The Pit to make some cash.
The idea is working at other college arenas, but UNM is having a hard time finding a company that will pay big bucks to put its name on The Pit.
It’s one of college basketball’s most famous and recognizable buildings, The Pit, known by that name for more than 47 years.
It’s a place fans are proud of, especially after it was redone inside and out four years ago, a project that came with a cost $60 million,
That the university is hoping to help pay off by selling the arena’s naming rights.
“These are complicated ventures. This isn’t a simple business deal,” Tim Cass, deputy athletic director said.
Cass says the university has been shopping the naming rights for The Pit to corporations and wealthy alumni for the last four years.
It all hinges on the right partner, the right offer and the right time.
“We’ve been at the table with several potential partners and the conversations have gotten very serious and to date we haven’t formed a marriage,” Cass said.
UNM was hoping to land a naming rights deal for at least $10 million over 20 years, an average of more than half a million a year.
Cass says the price tag has made the sale a challenge.
“That’s negotiable and the length of the term is negotiable,” Cass said.
As for the name possibilities, it sounds like we’ll just have to wait and see.
“So we’re not really targeting a specific name. I mean, I’ve heard barbecue pit. That’s…Uh something that we’re not targeting,” Cass said.
UNM will not reveal the names of any of the companies it has negotiated with.
They are also looking to sell the naming rights to the football stadium, like they’ve already done with the field itself which is now called Branch Field at University Stadium.
The school collected $1.5 million for the 15 year deal.