- Associated Press - Thursday, April 27, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - WisePies Pizza & Salad, a pizza chain the won the coveted naming rights in 2014 for the home for the University of New Mexico’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, is dropping its name from the area, the schools announced Thursday.

In a statement, the university said it recently asked the pizza chain to abandon its naming rights of The Pit pending a new agreement with another company. The name of the new sponsor has yet to be revealed.

School officials said a new agreement will allow for multiple facilities to be named under one umbrella.

WisePies owner Steve Chavez said the company was happy to step aside since it knew how much the move would help the university. He says WisePies enjoyed its partnership with the school, and expects it to continue in a different capacity.

“Being associated with a building that is considered the crown jewel of New Mexico has been great for both ourselves and UNM,” Chavez said.

The recommendation by the Athletics Department is pending approval from the Board of Regents, the school said.

“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,” vice president for athletics Paul Krebs said. “It really helped pave the way for Santa Ana Star Field for our baseball team and our upcoming agreement.”

The Pit was renamed WisePies Arena in December 2014, drawing criticism from fans.

The building has a capacity of 15,411 for basketball and nearly 14,000 for concerts.

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