It didn’t take long for fans to start making their opinions known to Larry Chavez.
Last Friday, two days after it was announced the owner of Dreamstyle Remodeling would pledge $10 million to the University of New Mexico, and $9 million to athletics, in exchange for, among other perks, naming rights to the football stadium and basketball arena, the votes starting coming in.
“Friday, an electrician in one of our Dreamstyle trucks was at a stop light,” Chavez recalled. “A guy pulls up next to him, gets out of his truck, and walks over to the other side (of his own truck) — he had a dirty window — and he wrote in the dust ‘Keep the Pit.’ Then I’m told he pointed very vigorously at it so our driver could see. I wish we had gotten a picture of it.
“Our guy got back to the office and reported back to us, ‘Here’s a vote for keeping it the Pit.'”
Now, Chavez wants a more organized way for the public to get their opinion heard before he pulls the trigger on what the official new signage and logos going up around the Pit and the football stadium will actually say and look like before they’re installed.
“Fundamentally what’s going to drive this is the feedback from the community,” Chavez said. “It is of extreme importance that this be done right and to the satisfaction of the vast majority of the fans out there.”
Atop his company’s website — www.DreamstyleRemodeling.com — is a red icon that states “Submit Suggestions” where, after a click and a little bit of a scroll down the page, people can submit their name and suggestion to Chavez.
The suggestion page states: “We welcome your suggestions as we work to develop the new exterior signage for Dreamstyle Arena and Stadium.”
With that information, Chavez, and the marketing team at Dreamstyle, will give local company K2MD input on designing several logos — maybe a half dozen, or so,” Chavez said — that can be put up on the company’s website in the coming weeks for more community input before signage is decided on and installed in the next couple months.
Chavez, a lifelong Lobo fan who still calls it the Pit himself, entered into a contract with Lobo Sports Properties that calls for the venues to be named Dreamstyle Stadium and Dreamstyle Arena, for now. He gets final say in how the signage is worded and looks, within reason.
While he says there has been a lot of interest from around the country in both building and designing the signage, he wants to keep everything local if possible.
“We’re going to use local people at every opportunity we can,” Chavez said.
He said it’s a pretty safe bet that “the Pit” will be an official part of the name for the 51-year-old basketball arena, which for years was known as University Arena and more recently WisePies Arena, AKA The Pit before Chavez’s agreement took over the naming rights.
This isn’t officially a vote, per se. Chavez still gets the final decision, and Dreamstyle will be a part of the name. But, he insists, he wants to get this right and getting the fan base involved is how to do that.
“We think how this is done in the signage will carry over into various logos for attire and other items, so it’s very important,” Chavez said. “We’re going to put a lot of effort into it and make it very much available for people’s comments and suggestions.”