Citigroup levels with its Field

Marketplace Staff Apr 13, 2009
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Citigroup levels with its Field

Marketplace Staff Apr 13, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Oh and speaking of Citigroup, man, tonight should have been so exciting for that company. The New York Mets play their first regular-season game at the brand new, $850 million Citi Field, a sporting monument to that glorious banking empire. Yeah, well, don’t expect to see Citigroup executives waving on the Jumbo-tron tonight. Joel Rose reports.


Joel Rose: In better times, Citigroup signed a $400 million naming deal for the park. That was before the company took $45 billion in bailout funds from the U.S. government. And as Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit told members of Congress a few months ago:

Vikram Pandit: Let me be clear with the committee: I get the new reality, and I will make sure Citi gets it as well.

The new reality means that Pandit won’t be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Citi Field. Company officials say he won’t even attend the game. Instead, Citigroup executives are inviting community groups — including the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s college scholarship recipients — to watch the game from the company’s luxury boxes on the aptly named Empire Level.

Another Mets fan who won’t be attending tonight’s game is disgraced financier Bernie Madoff. The trustee liquidating Madoff’s assets auctioned off his seats behind home plate for $7,500, with the proceeds going to repay Madoff’s victims.

I’m Joel Rose for Marketplace.

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