Daniel Gross, the Moneybox columnist for Slate, business columnist for Newsweek, and author of Pop! Why Bubbles Are Great for the Economy questions the wisdom of stadium naming rights in this time of publicly funded bank bailouts.
Citi Field is also a tough one. In 2006, Citi signed a $400 million, 20-year deal to name the Mets’ new stadium after the company. It’s hard to walk away from signed contracts. And if Citi manages to stick around for the next 20 years, this could turn out to be a very good deal. The company’s name will be mentioned millions of times in a range of media—online, television, radio, newspapers—over the next two decades. As a gesture to the company’s new partial owners, perhaps there could be some tweaks: Paulson Park at Citi Field or the Ben Bernanke Bullpen. And, of course, the field’s tarp can just be called the TARP.