November 24, 2008
First we paid for the AIG people to keep living the life in those luxury hotels.
Then we were asked by auto execs to start bankrolling their private jet habit.
Yes, as strange as it might seem, the Mets are truly now America's team — at least in a financial sense of the term — as a result of the news that the U.S. government is helping Citigroup with a $20 billion bailout.
Despite a toilet stock price and its plans to axe 53,000 people from its payrolls, Citigroup says it can't — and won't — attempt to back out of its 20-year, $400 million naming rights deal for the Mets' new ballpark.
Whether we're Mets fans or not, that leaves us on the hook to float the Mets $20 mil for campaigns that inevitably end in a September collapse.
"You know, those (naming rights) decisions were made in a different time and a different place and we have a legal and binding agreement around that and so I never heard it discussed," Citi's CFO Gary Crittenden told Erin Burnett on our "Squawk on the Street" this morning. "I don't think it's an issue."
Look at the bright side, though. While we don't get any perks from hotel stays or corporate jet travel, at least this expense we're getting stuck with might have some residual enjoyment. As such, I'm making the suggestion that each of us get to rename the stadium for a day apiece over the next 20 years.
Get ready for Big League Stew Day at The Cauldron sometime in 2011.
What would you rename Citi Field?