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Citi explores backing out of Mets deal


BrySmalls

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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28992773/

Citigroup Inc is exploring backing out of a nearly $400 million marketing deal with the New York Mets amid concerns over how lenders are using government bailout money, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.Officials at Citigroup have made no final decision about whether to try to void the 20-year agreement, which includes naming the Mets' new baseball stadium after the bank, the people told the paper.

The Mets deal was attacked last week as an example of misplaced spending by financial institutions that needed bailout funds, according to the paper.

A Citigroup statement Tuesday said that "no TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) capital will be used for Citi Field or for marketing purposes."

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Dennis Kucinich and Ted Poe wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner last Wednesday, asking him to push Citigroup to dissolve the Mets deal, the paper said.

"Citigroup is now dependent on the support of the federal government for its survival as an institution," the paper quoted the letter as saying. "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."

If Citigroup backs out of its agreement with the Mets, it likely would not happen immediately and could involve the bank paying a break-up penalty to the Mets, the paper said, citing people familiar with the situation.

Citigroup "signed a legally binding agreement with the New York Mets in 2006," the Citigroup spokesman in New York told Reuters.

"The Mets are fully committed to our contract with Citi," Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz told the Journal.

The New York Mets could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.

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"...and in a surprise move, The New York Mets have already made contingency plans for a replacement sponsor. Should Citigroup decide to back out, the Mets' new stadium would then be known as "Domino's Diamond".

" Said a Mets' spokesperson, "Great, now we only need to make a slight tweak to all the signs and patches... :D

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To make it worst, they reported that the Wilpons may have to sell minority stock in the Mets because they are suffering right now because of the Bernie Madoff scandel.

I dont even think Morgan Stanley who bought 49% of Citigroup is even interested in taking over naming rights

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I'm usually against naming parks for players becuase I think major league parks should be named for bigger things than players, like owners or neighborhoods or veterans or whatever. Example: that movement to rename Phone Company Park "Mays Field" never worked for me, because as great as Willie Mays was, it just doesn't seem right. I'd have preferred "China Basin Grounds" or something along those lines. It'd be like calling the United Center the "Michael Jordan Arena." I'm not sure about taking it that far. HOWEVER, I could get behind calling the whole thing "Jackie Robinson Stadium." Fits in with Arthur Ashe Stadium down the street, and even though he has nothing to do with the Mets, he has everything to do with New York NL baseball and is a transcendent enough figure to warrant it. I know they already have the "Jackie Robinson Rotunda," but that's kinda cumbersome. Are we supposed to refer to it by that at all times? Nobody will. You're not gonna say "where'd we park?" "oh, right outside the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, I think." It'd be great p.r., too, dumping this whole boondoggle for a beloved baseball figure.

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I'm usually against naming parks for players becuase I think major league parks should be named for bigger things than players, like owners or neighborhoods or veterans or whatever. Example: that movement to rename Phone Company Park "Mays Field" never worked for me, because as great as Willie Mays was, it just doesn't seem right. I'd have preferred "China Basin Grounds" or something along those lines. It'd be like calling the United Center the "Michael Jordan Arena." I'm not sure about taking it that far. HOWEVER, I could get behind calling the whole thing "Jackie Robinson Stadium." Fits in with Arthur Ashe Stadium down the street, and even though he has nothing to do with the Mets, he has everything to do with New York NL baseball and is a transcendent enough figure to warrant it. I know they already have the "Jackie Robinson Rotunda," but that's kinda cumbersome. Are we supposed to refer to it by that at all times? Nobody will. You're not gonna say "where'd we park?" "oh, right outside the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, I think." It'd be great p.r., too, dumping this whole boondoggle for a beloved baseball figure.

I wouldn't mind seeing that either, but let's be realistic here - if CitiGroup drops out of their deal, the Mets would be out a HUGE chunk of revenue that they've been relying on in their assessment of their financial future. They would, could, and as much as I hate to say it, should, replace Citi as quickly as possible so as to replace whatever amount of revenue they'd lose from CitiGroup dropping out of the original deal.

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I'm usually against naming parks for players becuase I think major league parks should be named for bigger things than players, like owners or neighborhoods or veterans or whatever. Example: that movement to rename Phone Company Park "Mays Field" never worked for me, because as great as Willie Mays was, it just doesn't seem right. I'd have preferred "China Basin Grounds" or something along those lines. It'd be like calling the United Center the "Michael Jordan Arena." I'm not sure about taking it that far. HOWEVER, I could get behind calling the whole thing "Jackie Robinson Stadium." Fits in with Arthur Ashe Stadium down the street, and even though he has nothing to do with the Mets, he has everything to do with New York NL baseball and is a transcendent enough figure to warrant it. I know they already have the "Jackie Robinson Rotunda," but that's kinda cumbersome. Are we supposed to refer to it by that at all times? Nobody will. You're not gonna say "where'd we park?" "oh, right outside the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, I think." It'd be great p.r., too, dumping this whole boondoggle for a beloved baseball figure.

Ohh, China Basin Grounds. I REALLY like that, especially considering that the NY Giants used to play at the Polo Grounds, and it has a good ring to it as well. I've always thought that Embarcadero Park would've been great as well (The stadium is built on the Embarcadero). I liked the original name of Pacific Bell Park, as Pac Bell was a Bay Area staple at the time.

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So what happens to the jerseys that have already been sold that include the pizza patch?

Well I guess it's a good thing nobody was dumb enough to buy them.

... Oh wait, there are mets fan were talking about.

:upside:

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So what happens to the jerseys that have already been sold that include the pizza patch?

Collectors items. At least that's what the official story will be.

In an ironic twist of fate those jerseys with the bland Dominoes Pizza rip-off patches will become some of the most sot-after Mets jerseys in history.

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