Who wants to be reminded of the great financial disaster of 2008 and all the years of crazy unregulated financial dealing that lead up to it every time they go to a baseball game? I would think the answer would be no-one.
Last week, I flew into LaGuardia Airport in New York at night, and felt like a child again oohing and aahing at the Manhattan skyline in lights, the sparkling panorama of the five boroughs below me and the swoops and tilts of the plane. Even more fun, I was picked up by relatives and taken for fantastic Greek food in nearby Astoria Queens where the grilled octopus in lemon and herbed olive oil scored as possibly the most delicious thing I’d ever eaten. At some point on the drive, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, the new baseball stadium with the name Citi Field. I was immediately brought down. I’ve never liked corporate names all over sports events and locations, but this was different. All the news was about Citibank and it’s bail out necessities.
I woke up two days later thinking: Why should the Met’s new home be called Citi stadium if WE, the citizens, the people, the taxpayers, the workers… are paying for Citibank to keep from failing… why not get real and call it Peoples’ Stadium. When I went to fact check the 400 million dollar contract figure, I learned that two NYC councilmen, Rick Ingrazio and Jim Oddo were already on top of this situation and were proposing a new name…possibly Citi/Taxpayers Stadium…for the new structure.
Various reports have come in that this idea is gaining momentum. I’d like to support it, but with the difference of leaving the Citi name out altogether. If it weren’t for the taxpayer part, Citi Bank might very well not continue to exist. Without the work and tax revenues of the American working people this bailout of the financial giants wouldn’t be possible. The best way to memorialize this desperate time in American financial life is to honor the role that the people who are still lucky enough to be making enough money to pay taxes in America have played in keeping afloat those who have actually not given priority to the well being of working people.
I am not a sports fan particularly, but I am a people fan..and I say the people need to be honored now. That’s change I can be livin’ in. So…People’s Stadium; Citizens’ Stadium; Taxpayers’ Stadium; Workers Stadium… what’ll it be??