Updated: September 20, 2020 10:20 PM
Created: September 20, 2020 09:45 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A well-known local business and the University of New Mexico are at odds over the high-priced naming rights of the university's football and basketball arenas.
Larry Chavez, owner and CEO of Dreamstyle Remodeling, said he has concerns about how the university is spending his money.
"I think, insulted. We provided a $1,800,000 of benefit to the university, and they won't even return our calls," Chavez said.
"The fundamental reason is we wanted to support the University of New Mexico Athletics and in-turn support the university and then be good for the community," he added.
Chavez signed a 10-year deal worth $10 million with UNM back in 2017 for the naming rights to The Pit and the Lobos' football stadium. At the time, UNM was working with the sports agency, Learfield, who acted as an intermediary between Dreamstyle and former embattled UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs.
Last year, however, Chavez said Learfield broke ties with UNM, essentially ending the naming rights deal.
"So, UNM had from May of 2018 until today to work out a new naming rights agreement, which they never have proposed," he said.
Chavez provided KOB 4 with a letter from Learfield that claimed Chavez didn't owe anything else in the deal when UNM and Learfield split. He also said he thinks the university used his first million dollars to pay off debt, not support athletes.
"There have been lots of problems in the finances at the athletic department, which also relate the overall finance operation at the university," Chavez said.
Chavez suspects UNM wrongly believes he still owes money and claimed he offered to go into mediation, but UNM hasn't agreed to get on board.
"So, in-fact, we have second thoughts about going forward, but our core desire is to support the university and our community here," he said.
The rest of the Dreamstyle signs are expected to come down this week.
KOB 4 reached out to UNM for comment, but we did not hear back.
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