Resisting cries from the public and media to name their new ballpark in honor of a beloved local icon (ie. Doug Sisk Stadium), the Mets’ modern playground will be known as CitiField, reports Newsday’s Ken Davidoff and Juliet Chung.
Though the exact figure that Citigroup paid for the naming rights could not be attained, the person familiar with the situation described the fee as “huge.”
It’s believed that it will set a new record for such revenue, topping the roughly $10 million per season the NFL’s Houston Texans receive from Reliant Energy to call their home Reliant Stadium. However, the Giants and Jets will probably beat the Mets when they complete their deal for a shared new stadium in New Jersey’s Meadowlands.
The Mets declined to comment on all matters relating to the naming rights. They have continually asserted that they would do away with the Shea name upon moving, instead going with a corporate title. Such agreements have become commonplace in the world of professional sports, although the Yankees, who also intend to open a new ballpark in 2009, will take their famous name, Yankee Stadium, with them.
Citigroup, a financial-services company, boasts of “some 200 million customer accounts in more than 100 countries” on its Web site. Citibank, one of its subsidiaries, dates to 1812.
In the past month, Citibank conducted Internet surveys to test out potential names for the new ballpark.
The list of proposals included Citigroup Ballpark, Citi Ballpark, Citibank Ballpark, Citibank Yard, Citibank Coliseum, Citibank Diamond and Citibank Field.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Mets bench coach Manny Acta, having removed himself from consideration in the A’s managerial search, is likely to be named the new manager of the Washington Nationals.
Addendum : Hot Foot had the scoop on the Citibank tag on Friday morning, beating everyone, including Newsday (who acknowledged as much)