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Wilpon: Citibank deal is here to stay

One report pegs the worth of the 20-year naming-rights deal at $500 million, not the $400 million previously reported.
With Citibank’s naming-rights deal for the new Mets ballpark increasingly under fire, Jeff Wilpon used a press tour of Citi Field as an occasion to defend the financial giant and maintain the deal will not be scrapped.

"If they stop marketing, all the other companies that are competing against them will zoom right past them and they’ll never have a chance to catch up again," Wilpon told the New York Daily News. "They’re a going business — a going concern. We’re a going business and a going concern. And we have to help each other."

Indeed. And it’s a little easier to help a partner paying $500 million over 20 years, not the $400 million that’s been previously reported, according to the Daily News.

Still, the fact Wilpon felt the need to directly address the criticisms must be worrisone to the Mets and to Citibank officials. And with the economy continuing to be in the tank — we’re now officially in a recession, in case you hadn’t noticed — watching taxpayers bail out CItibank and then continuing one of the richest naming-rights deals in sports won’t sit well with elected officials and everyday folks.

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