25 November 2008

Uncle Sugar's Money Dump at Citifield

It wasn't long ago that sports arenas were named after great heroes instead of lame corporations on the verge of bankruptcy. Take Joe Louis arena in Detroit, which is named after the badass American boxer who struck one of the first Allied blows against the Nazis in 1938. The Red Wings still play there, but most large cities are cursed with tax-funded monstrosities that reek of shameless corporate branding like a Costco-sponsored Blink 182 concert. Ed Morrisey has a list of the offenders. But, at least you used to be able to say that it was driving down ticket costs as you stared at a basketball court adorned in trashy advertising.

That's not the case anymore, as the $20B the feds just dumped on Citigroup will help pay to keep their name on the new stadium for the NY Mets. From ABC:

Struggling Citibank just sealed a multi-billion-dollar emergency "backstop" deal with the U.S. government. The financial behemoth, suffering with billions in bad mortgage-related assets on its books, recently shed 53,000 workers and saw its stock price lose over half its value. Yet it's in a 20-year contract to pay the New York Mets $400 million to name the team's new stadium "Citi Field."
That's right, $400M of that $20B is going to pay for New Yorkers to understand irony better, I guess. I suggest the name "Uncle Sugar's Money Dump", because it will be a lesson for our nation on the kind of society you get for handing out billions of dollars to incompetent companies with no accountability. Is there anyone that still thinks this bailout is a good idea? Even with $7.4 Trillion in loans that the federal government has promised to disburse?!? It's okay if you once supported these ridiculous cash injections, just listen to Dierks Bentley's "What Was I Thinking?" and vote smarter next time.