— Days Without Shea —

by Kingman on February 3 at 8:05AM
Citigroup is now under intense pressure to back out of its deal with the New York Mets over Citi Field.

House members Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and Ted Poe, R-Texas, have formally asked  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to cancel the troubled bank's deal to pay the Mets $400 million for the naming rights to Shea's replacement.

"Citigroup is now dependent on the support of the federal government for its survival as an institution," the congressmen wrote.  "As such, we do not believe Citigroup ought to spend $400 million to name a stadium at the same time that they accept over $350 billion in taxpayer support and guarantees."

The story is on the front page of the Wall Street Journal today. This was always a possibility but Citigroup helped exacerbate the situation last week when it was caught in a PR fiasco over the purchase of a new $50 million corporate jet. It made no difference that the jet was ordered before the bank recieved TARP money. As the economy continues to worsen, any perceived wasteful spending is valuable tabloid fodder (hey man, the newspaper industry is tanking too. In fact, stop reading this and go buy a paper. Or better yet, buy an ad on a news Web site).

Of course, some wise-acre blogger with a fetish for the Mets' former digs will probably suggest the new stadium be rechristened "Shea Field." Unfortunately, that appelation probably won't happen. If Citi bails out, the Mets will need a bailout to recoup whatever part of the $400 million Uncle Sam denied them.

Or the Mets will pass the added expense on to us, the fans. Wait a minute, didn't I pay $9.00 for a beer last season? Never mind, I have already paid my share of the bailout. 

[February 3, 2009 10:06 AM]  |  link  |  reply
dyhrdmet said

this type of publicity can't be good for the Mets. One conversation I had at Shea on Saturday was about the practicality of having a name for the new ballpark if/when the "Citi" name as to come down. It's one of those things that will probably see "Citi" covered up and the place just called "Field" until new signs go up (either named for a beloved ballpayer or ballpark, or another corporate sponsor).

[February 3, 2009 10:32 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Ron Hunt said

Nice new countdown clock, but maybe it just should say "Home Opening Day" given the uncertainty surrounding the Citi name.

[February 3, 2009 3:00 PM]  |  link  |  reply
dyhrdmet said

does the clock go "Kaboom" if the "Citi" name falls?

[February 4, 2009 3:57 PM]  |  link  |  reply
oxfdblue said

There are a few dozen other arenas, parks, theaters with corporate names of companies that received TARP money from the Feds.

I really think this is a stupid issue.

The $20m a year that Citi is paying an advertising cost. Do we tell the banks they aren't allowed newspaper and tv ads either?

Have the politicians thought about the expense- probably to Citi- of changing the name of the stadium since it is plastered on everything?

I never liked the idea of corporate names for such things, but unfortunately, that's the reality of today's world. If things were perfect, that countdown clock would be for opening day at Jackie Robinson Field.

[February 4, 2009 4:39 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Andre said

No absolutely not there is no reason other then the wilpons have there heads so far up the tukus of the ghost of Jackie Robinson that the new stadium should be named after him. Better Hodges or a MET for petes sake. Hell Citifield while a horrible name is better then Jackie Robinson Park or Stadium

[February 5, 2009 10:17 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Ron Hunt said

Completely agree Andre (and yes oxfblue - this is a very stupid issue), no way do I want Robinson Field, the rotunda is bad enough. While he did great things, he has no connection to the Mets other than in Fred's head.

Shea (again), Payson, Hodges, Seaver, anything but Jackie.

[February 5, 2009 11:19 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Kingman said

Excuse me but what's wrong with Kingman Field?

[February 5, 2009 4:57 PM]  |  link  |  reply
oxfdblue said

I would definitely love to have seen it as Hodges Field.

That would have been better than Robinson Park/Field/Stadium.

[February 5, 2009 7:24 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Daniel said

What about call the park Shea Stadium. Thanks to Mr. Shea, a National League team came back to the city.

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