Monday, November 24, 2008

Uh, Citigroup? About Those Stadium Naming Rights...

So now that the feds are bailing out Citigroup, isn't it time the troubled outfit voluntarily withdrew from having its name on top of a new baseball stadium?
The good news for the Mets is they still have a name and a sponsor for their new stadium.

The bad news for a franchise that has had two straight late-season collapses is that it is now linked with a bank trying to stave off its own collapse.

Citigroup, which agreed in 2006 to a 20-year, $400 million contract to name the Mets’ new stadium Citi Field, has absorbed billions of dollars in losses because of the subprime mortgage crisis and the floundering economy.
Granted, that $400 million deal is almost chump change compared to the billions they're getting from taxpayers.

But how is it going to sit with investors and employees out of a job to see this outfit with their name on top of a ballfield?

I've never been crazy for corporate sponsorship of athletic facilities, but that genie was out of the bottle years ago.

Here's an idea: Since New York is the bluest of blue states and renaming schools and streets after Barack Obama seems to be all the rage, why not just be done with it and name it after him?

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