Chesapeake Energy terminates naming rights deal with Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder said Tuesday that Chesapeake Energy Corp. has terminated its arena naming rights agreement.

The move was effective immediately, though the team said the name will remain until a new partner is found. The original 12-year agreement was announced in 2011, but the Thunder said the company had made its decision as part of a restructuring.

The Thunder became a Western Conference power while playing home games at Chesapeake Energy Arena, fueled by All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The arena known locally as “The ‘Peake” hosted the 2012 NBA Finals and three Western Conference finals under that name.

“As Chesapeake Energy Arena, our building has been home to so many exciting and historic moments and events,” Thunder chairman Clay Bennett said. “As we look to forge a new partnership for naming rights, we will identify a partner who will help build on that history and be the centerpiece of our growing, modern and vibrant downtown environment.”

The arena, which opened in 2002, also hosts concerts among other events that welcome more than one million guests per year.

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