New York Reps: Don't Kill Citi Stadium Deal

Six members of the New York congressional delegation sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asking him not to kill a deal giving Citigroup naming rights to the New York Mets new baseball stadium, which is slated to open this April.

The letter comes in response to one from Reps. Tom Poe (R-Texas) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who both asked for the 20-year, $400 million deal naming the stadium "Citi Field" to be killed. A report in the Feb. 3 Wall Street Journal said the company, which has received $45 billion in TARP funds, was considering abandoning the deal, citing anonymous sources.

"We believe this would set a terrible precedent of unfairly singling out a specific company and a particular form of advertising for a politically popular position," the New Yorker members wrote. "This attack has broader implications on all sports marketing and would certainly have a negative effect on all media outlets such as television, radio, cable and newspapers."

Reps. Yvette Clarke, Eliot Engel, Joseph Crowley, Anthony Weiner, Gregory Meeks and Steve Israel, all Democrats, signed the letter.

"It is deceitful and unreasonable to single out Citigroup for an agreement signed several years ago, without referencing the many other companies who have stadium naming rights and also received federal assistance," they add, citing seven other financial institutions with their names on stadiums in cities across the U.S. Those cited include Bank of America, which also received $45 billion in TARP funds, Wachovia and Comerica.

See the full letter below:

2 10 09 Geithner Letter

-Samuel Rubenfeld

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