New York Mets Should Throw Fans a Bone...Name Stadium Shea
In tough economic times, the New York Mets have had to shoulder the embarrassment of losing money in the Bernard Madoff scandal and have taken the hits from Washington DC for continuing to do business with Citi Group, a bank that is now relying on government subsidies just to keep it running; the Mets have to make a decision on the naming rights of their new ball park very soon.
A week ago, two Senators, Denis Kucinich (D, Ohio) and Ted Poe (R, Texas) encouraged new Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to slap down the Mets/Citi deal and force the two into a costly divorce.
Their were rumors early in the week in a Wall Street Journal article siting that Citi was considering withdrawing its name from the Mets new ballpark, but only backtracked a day later.
The Mets continue to say that the support Citi.
Even though the Mets like to deny that these two PR nightmares are not affecting their wallets, they act in just the opposite direction when they refuse to give an extra year to Derek Lowe, and refuse to consider signing Manny Ramirez.
Both players would put the Mets over their "budget" and force them to pay more in luxury tax penalties. The Mets are tired of paying the piper, especially recently.
Therefore, the Mets have to get their entire crack staff together, send out the interns to get some coffee, and find a cost effective solution to ending their partnership with Citi Field.
It will hurt. The Mets are in for $400 million over 20 years with Citi Group. So to think that the Mets won't hurt financially by breaking this deal is futile. But it is better than having to risk being tied together with a sinking ship.
If the Mets break up their relations with Citi, either in the coming months, or in the next year, they should call the park something very simple, something that will relate to fans...Shea Stadium.
Yeah, the name is old and it is not some fancy rich Web site, like Google, or Yahoo, or Facebook, but at least it gives fans a breath of fresh air.
Like James Earl Jones's character Terrance Mann said in Field of Dreams "Baseball reminds us of what was good and decent, and what can be again..." Renaming the new stadium Shea will bring back great memories for Met fans, making it feel like they never left their old home that is now a parking lot.
In a two-year period where people are having a hard time paying the mortgage, and keeping the kids in school, going to a ballpark with a name as traditional as Shea will bring the kid out in all fans.
Fans are angry that big business has flushed away the tradition of going to the ball game, with luxury seating, PSL's, naming rights, and in stadium restaurants pushing aside fans in favor of CEO's who want to rub elbows.
Name the stadium Shea, Mets. No one wants to go to a stadium that they can nickname "Bankrupt Ballpark."
Remind people of why it is so good to go to a game on warm summer night in June and July.
Remind people of what it is like to take their small children to a 1:00 Sunday afternoon ball game.
One way to do that is to go on the cheap, for now, until things settle down. Then in 2010, or 2011, make a deal with Google, or Facebook and get your big naming rights deal.
But for now, give the fans something to be proud of, on and off the field.
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