With Chesapeake Energy reportedly filing for bankruptcy, the naming rights of Chesapeake Energy Arena have become an online topic of discussion among Thunder fans. Seeing this for what I’ve stretched it into it is, we’re setting out to raise north of three million dollars so we can purchase one season of naming rights – and name the building The Thunder Dome.

Because the Oklahoma City Thunder play there.

Get it?

In the unlikely event we fall short of our goal, we’ll donate all proceeds to the Greenwood Cultural Center in Tulsa, OK. For more on the outstanding work they’re doing (and why you should donate), keep scrolling toward the end of the following Q-&-A about our mission to make The Thunder Dome a reality.

Wait…What Did You Say?

Straight up – we want to raise 3.25 million dollars in order to purchase the naming rights of what is now known as Chesapeake Energy Arena. It’s where the Thunder play basketball, and we talk a lot about basketball on the Internet. We feel as though that makes us uniquely qualified to choose the next name.

But… $3.25 million?

Forbe’s reported Chesapeake Energy was paying around three million a year for the naming rights, so we’re coming in higher because we think that’s how good business is done. The amount seems fair, but the team better be really good.

We’d also like nachos as part of the deal. At the games, and in general. Just…more nachos.

So… Can You Repeat That Name Again?

The Thunder Dome.

Why… Why The Thunder Dome?

For obvious reasons. Mostly because it would be awesome.

OK… What If You Fail?

If we fall a penny short of $3.25 million, all proceeds will be donated to the Greenwood Cultural Center in TulsaOK

Why the Greenwood Cultural Center?

“The Greenwood Cultural Center is the keeper of the flame for the Black Wall Street era, the events known as the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, and the astounding resurgence of the Greenwood District in the months and years following the tragedy. Today, the Greenwood Historical District showcases its heritage through pictorial exhibits at the Greenwood Cultural Center.”

My personal experience at the Cultural Center (I’m a Tulsan) was profound, haunting, and I’d recommend a visit to anyone that believes there’s not an incredible amount of work to do in our society. The work is just getting started, and the folks at Greenwood Cultural Center do an outstanding job of preserving a part of our past that is too often ignored. They deserve your donation, and you can feel good about the work your money will be doing in our state (& beyond).

Who… Who Are You?

My name is Weston Shepherd, and I’m a co-founder of @UpTheThunder alongside Dillon Young and Adam McLaughlin. You’ve likely seen one of my tweets, or read something I wrote while Editor-in-Chief at DailyThunder.com. In terms of my trustworthiness with these funds, I can assure you they will be distributed exactly as stated above. I’d look you in the eye and shake your hand, but we’re not allowed to do that anymore.

I mean, I grew up on a farm in central Oklahoma. My mom would hit me with a belt if I misled good people

We at @UpTheThunder have been a mainstay on social media in the state since 2014, amassing more than 50,000 followers across all social platforms. Before that, we were Oklahomans (still are) and want to do some good for the people in our local community. Maybe we can even have some fun doing it, I don’t know. 

Our partners in this effort are the guys at The Uncontested podcast – the best Thunder pod on the airwaves. They are producing great content, and share our vision for doing something with the platforms we’ve built. You should check them out and give them some love.

And to be clear – no, we don’t think $3.25 million is possible. This is us taking a very unfortunate thing (Chesapeake’s bankruptcy) and attempting to do some good with it. The world sucks right now, but, as they say, we’re trying to make chicken salad out of chicken something else.


If you know where to get one of those big checks, give us a shout.


If you wish to contact us, please send your emails to UpTheThunder@gmail.com. If you have business with me specifically, I’m available at rwestonshep@gmail.com.