Citi Field cost $800 million to build. In contrast, New York’s transit authority is facing a $1.2 billion budget deficit. So when the MTA asked the Mets to chip in to help with the $40 million in renovations to the train stations that bring fans and their wallets to the stadium, it seems logical that the Mets might throw in a little cash. Especially in New York, where everyone takes the subway to the game. But if that were the case, we wouldn’t have a story here.
The MTA is in dire straits, financially. We’re two weeks away from $103 monthly passes if they don’t come up with some more money quickly. So if they’re spending some of what little money they have to fix up the stations by Citi Field (including replacing the signs that say Shea Stadium), you’d think the Mets would be grateful. You obviously haven’t read enough articles about how greedy teams are.
So, the Yankees have $430.5 million for three top-tier free agents, but they don’t have $370 million for upgrades to their new stadium, toys that will allow them to charge even more money for tickets and, as a result, sign even more top-tier free agents? That’s exactly the charge being levied in an article from the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, which breaks down the $370 million of taxpayer money that’s being used to help finance the final stages of construction on New Yankee Stadium.
(How fitting: The new opening day Yankee hats.)
As only the Steinbrenner family could, the Yankees apparently have the gall to ask for $14.2 million for a scoreboard, $10.7million for a giant video board and $10.4 million in luxury suite upgrades while the country is in a crippling recession, not to mention the fact that New York City itself is expected to be hit much harder because of falling real estate values and overwhelming unemployment from the rolling demise of a number of Wall Street firms.
Of course, the Mets are also asking for more money for stadium upgrades, but it’s fair to say that the senior circuit’s New York team is a tad more cautious and, dare we say, reasonable: The Mets want a total of $13 million for their scoreboards and restaurant space, while the Yankees’ luxury upgrades add up to a whopping $95 million.
The definition of giant, swinging, I-don’t-give-a-sh*t-what-you-think balls: spending millions of dollars to sponsor College Bowl Games when you’re receiving handouts from the government. Anyone reading this should be pissed beyond belief that our dollars are being spent in order to make sure announcers can’t call it the Rose Bowl, but “The Rose Bowl Game Presented By Citi.”
There’s also the Capital One Bowl. Or the GMAC Bowl. The Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl brought to you by Bank of America. The EagleBank Bowl. And who could forget the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl sponsored by U.S. Bancorp. All sponsorships cost millions, and all from companies who screwed up so badly they had to take millions and billions out of taxpayers’ pockets.
Sufficiently furious yet?
, Bank Of America
, Capital One
, Capital One Bowl
, Eaglebank Bowl
, Eagle Bancorp
, Gmac Bowl
, Humanitarian Bowl
, Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl
, Rose Bowl
, Scott Garrett
, U.s. Bancorp
Selling the naming rights for your stadium sounds all well and good on paper. For just the cost of changing your team stationery, and perhaps the derision of your fanbase, you can pull in tens of millions of dollars each year. And in most cases, it’s pretty painless. But nothing’s painless when you’re the Mets. With their new stadium opening in four months, it’s somewhat apropos that things are falling apart just shy of the finish line.
The Mets made a cool $400 million by selling the naming rights for Citi Field to Citigroup. But with Citigroup taking billions of dollars in losses because of the subprime mortgage meltdown, there’s now doubt whether the company will be able to stay in existence, let alone afford to sponsor a stadium.