This morning, the Mets held a groundbreaking ceremony for their new ballpark named CitiField. The name, of course, is derived from CitiGroup, the company that purchased naming rights from the Mets for a cool $20 million per year.
At first I was outraged that my Mets would sell out and become the first New York team to play in a corporate sponsored stadium. However, over time, I’ve come to terms with the cold, harsh reality that money rules the world. I’m also making my way towards the point of embracing the cold, harsh reality that money rules the world. I’m thinking, why stop at stadiums?
If I were a company, I’d inquire about buying naming rights from Major League Baseball for Major League Baseball. Imagine Starbucks League Baseball where the Starbucks World Series is played between the winner of the Caffeinated League (obviously the new name for the American League what with its DH and all) and the Decaffeinated League.
How about signage on the bases? The catcher would set up behind Home Depot Plate. The batter would hit the ball and run to First National Bank Base, then onto Buick presents Second Base and he’ll slide safely into 3Com Base for a triple.
I would also want to buy naming rights to the players. I’d sign up these players right out of high school. The ones with more promise would demand more money. Imagine the public address announcer in Citi Field saying “Now batting, for the Dunkin Donuts Red Sox, First National Bank Baseman, Kevin ‘You’re in Good Hands with All-State Insurance’ Youkilis.”
As long as we’re selling out, why not go all the way?