Updated 12/03/2008 10:33 AM
Mets Stadium To Retain Citi Field Name
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The New York Mets says Citi Field will remain the name of its new stadium, despite the fact that Citigroup received a federal bailout to help it weather the financial crisis.
The bank agreed in 2006 to pay the Mets $400 million over 20 years for naming rights to the new stadium.
Several stadiums with corporate names have been renamed in recent years after companies ran into financial trouble. But Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon said yesterday he does not see that happening here.
"We can bring the right people to market their products," said Wilpon. "Over time, the fans that we bring here will become Citi customers and Citi will thrive and be able to pay to the money back to the government."
Fans were not as enthusiastic about keeping the name.
"I don't think the taxpayers should be paying for that," said one Mets fan.
"We pay for in it taxes and everything," said another. "It's not right."
The Mets gave reporters a tour of the nearly-finished stadium yesterday. The grass, seats, concourses and scoreboard are all in place.
There is also a place for a new Homerun Apple. The old Homerun Apple from Shea Stadium will also be on display.
"I just hope the fans love it," Wilpon said. "The changes we made really include everybody."
The stadium is set to open next April.