Complaints continue to roll in about Citibank receiving U.S. bailout and then reaffirming its commitment to spend $400 million on Mets naming-rights deal.
Complaints continue to roll in about Citibank receiving U.S. bailout and then reaffirming its commitment to spend $400 million on Mets naming-rights deal. Now, it’s not to the point where either corporation is backing off on any commitments, but there are some early indication it’s hurting the Mets when it comes to ticket sales.
The most visible opposition comes in the press, where Newsday columnist Wallace Matthews rips the pair for continuing the 20-year naming-rights deal:
The Mets should be embarrassed to emblazon their new park with the name of an outfit whose players performed even worse than the team did last year. They should be ashamed of using your money to advertise their (worthless) services. If they had any ethics, they would cancel the deal now and start looking for a sponsor that can actually pay its own bills.
Meanwhile, two New York City councilmen are proposing a renaming of the ballpark to Citi/Taxpayer Field, an obvious tongue-in-cheek reference to the bailout.
At the box office, the Mets may be feeling a little effect, though there’s some question about the cause. It now appears the team is loosening its standards for season-ticket sales: previously partial-season-ticket holders were not eligible for season tix at Citi Field, but now they are, as the team adjusts to less demand than expected. Now, no one expects the team will not sell out virtually every game next season — but it may not be as automatic as expected.