Citi May Bail on $400M Marketing Deal With Mets

The call to spend taxpayer money more wisely may overshadow agreement
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2009 7:28 AM CST
This artist's rendering provided by the New York Mets shows a corner view of the Mets' new stadium, scheduled to open in April 2009, with it's newly unveiled Citi Field logo.   (AP Photo/New York Mets)
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(Newser) – Citigroup, trying to duck controversy over its use of taxpayer bailout dollars, is considering  reneging on a $400 million marketing deal with the New York Mets, the Wall Street Journal reports. The 20-year partnership—which includes naming the Mets new stadium Citi Field—may be scratched because Citi accepted $45 billion in TARP funds from the Treasury, as well as federal guarantees on $301 billion in loans.

The debate inside Citi is whether it's more important to distance the firm from taxpayer wrath, or avoid setting a bad precedent by wiggling out of a contract signed in 2006. "If we cave for political reasons, it will have enormous implications for our ability to contract with third parties,"  one exec tells the Journal.