Public Cheers for "Taxpayer's Field," Proponents Say

Proposal to rename NY Mets' ballpark from "CitiField" after $300B backstop.

December 01, 2008, 6:40 PM

December 2, 2008— -- Huzzahs are being raised for a proposal by two New York lawmakers that Citibank share naming rights to the New York Mets' ballpark, according to the men who advanced the idea.

The park is known as "Citi Field" under a 20-year, $400 million deal between the Mets and the now-shaky bank. New York City Councilmembers Vincent Ignizio and James Oddo recently suggested changing the name to "Citi/Taxpayers Field," after the federal government agreed to a $300 billion "backstop" plan to keep the bank from going under.

The two Republicans represent Long Island districts and the stadium is in Queens. But the duo's proposal has garnered praise from citizens from all over, their spokesmen told Monday.

As evidence, a spokesman for Oddo shared with emails his boss had received from the public.

"I totally agree with your desire to deny Citicorp naming rights at the new stadium," reads one, claiming to be from a resident of Queens. "It might be more appropriate to rename it, 'Citizen's Field."

Ignizio's stand on the stadium's name "resonate[d] with me," read another email, purportedly from a New Yorker outside of the lawmaker's district.

"You could have stated that the stadium should be named 'Taxpayer Field' with no mention of 'Citi' in the name," the email read. "That would have not been unreasonable. . . in my opinion."

"People seem to get it, to understand," said a spokesman for Ignizio, who said the public response to his boss' idea was overwhelmingly positive.

A Citi spokesman said the company had no comment on the proposal.

In a statement, spokesman Stephen Silverstein said the naming deal with the Mets was a "very positive way to support our community" and connect with customers.

The New York Mets declined to comment.

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