SBD/Issue 96/Facilities & Venues

MLB Facility Notes: Should Citi Field Be Named For Taxpayer?

Writer Feels Citi Field Should Instead
Be Named For A Random Taxpayer
In N.Y., Michael Daly writes Citigroup is "right to honor" its 20-year, $400M naming-rights deal for the Mets' new Citi Field, "even if the bank is receiving billions of dollars" in bailout money. But "that does not mean the bank has to stick with the name Citi Field." Instead, the bank could "make a random pick of one individual out of the millions of beleaguered taxpayers chipping in to bail out Citigroup and all the other bungling financial institutions" and name the field after them. In doing so, Citigroup "would acquire something its own name could never generate amidst the current crisis, something as rare as a clean balance sheet for a big financial institution these days." Daly: "This rare something is goodwill" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/5). FORBES National Editor Mike Ozanian wrote if the naming-rights deal is nixed, the Mets "would raise ticket and concession prices, punishing Joe Six Pack and his family." Ozanian: "Humiliating Citi might get [President Barack] Obama some political runs, but it's a losing game for the average taxpayer" (FORBES.com, 2/3).

ON THE RISE: In Milwaukee, Don Walker cites new data from the five-county Miller Park stadium district as indicating that $26,689,753 in total stadium sales-tax collections were made in '08, which was "3% higher than the previous year." Miller Park Stadium District Exec Dir Mike Duckett said that the January sales-tax distribution from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue "totaled $2,089,529," a 21% increase over the January '08 distribution (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 2/4).

COMMUNITY'S TEAM: The SILICON VALLEY/SAN JOSE BUSINESS JOURNAL's David Goll reports A's officials "hope to defuse concerns ... over traffic, light and noise" from residents near the team's proposed Cisco Field in Freemont, California. The team is "even willing to limit the number of weekday home games" at the ballpark "to mitigate their impact on a local school." A's co-Owner Keith Wolff said that the team "will offer to play only four midweek day games during any given season to minimize ballpark-generated traffic during school hours" (SILICON VALLEY/SAN JOSE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/30 issue).

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