Blood is clearly in the water with respect to the Citigroup-Mets naming rights deal, and when blood is in the water, reason is often the first thing thrown overboard:
“They just act as though the taxpayers’ money is free money, and they can spend it any way they want. Well, no they can’t,” says Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D, Ohio), who adds that taxpayers have the right to be upset.
“Their money is going for these banks that are just doing anything they want with it,” Kucinich says. “Well, that’s not right, and they have to be called on it.”
Another article on the subject up and asks “should companies that receive federal bailouts be putting big money into these types of naming rights deals?”
Would I pay the Mets $400 million for naming rights? Probably not (though it may not be the craziest thing in the world). But I’m not running Citigroup, and the people who are (or were) made that decision and signed that paperwork years ago. They have a binding contract, and unless it has some sort of escape clause — or unless the federal government or the increasingly critical masses want to help them defend the inevitable lawsuit in the event they welsh on the deal — they are pretty much stuck, no? I’ll go a step further and guess that if someone really wanted to take a fine-toothed comb to Citigroup’s books, they’d find things way more outrageous than the money currently slated to go to the Mets. No one can get on TV by complaining about those things, however.
In any event, when it comes to existing naming rights deals like this one, it’s not a matter of “should.” That horse left the barn long ago. It’s a matter of “now what?” So please let us ignore anyone with their knives out over the Citigroup-Mets deal — especially elected officials with cameras in-tow — unless they have a proposed solution to go along with it.