Citi Field Is Still On
With the U.S. government agreeing today to boost its stake in Citigroup to as much as 36 percent, the pressure to undo the bank's 20-year, $400 million naming rights deal with the New York Mets could be growing.
But days after House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank told us he thought sponsorship had as much to do with ego as it has to do with sound business, it appears like Citi Field signs will be there when the Mets play on Opening Day in 38 days.
Citigroup CFO Gary Crittenden told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Friday morning that the bank has a contractual obligation and that will be honored.
A Mets official reiterated to CNBC this morning that Citigroup's deal with the team is a binding contract.
It is believed that in order for Citigroup to get out of the deal, they'd have to pay a breakup fee that would somehow make the Mets whole. Since it's generally believed that the Mets couldn't sell the same naming rights package today for more than half of what Citigroup bought it for, that breakup fee would likely be worth at least $200 million.
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