The Yankees are having some truth telling problems when it comes to their new stadium. They told anyone that would listen that tickets, even the expensive ones, were selling like crazy before they finally admitted that at least 30% of the best tickets are still available a month before the season starts. They claimed that obstructed view tickets for $12 were a great deal, and then they turned around and cut them to $5 on Thursday.
So, when COO Lonn Trost said that the economy was having no effect on the stadium's sponsors on Wednesday, it was just a matter of time before one of them dropped out of a deal they could no longer afford. Unsurprisingly, that sponsor was Bank of America, which is receiving bailout funds and a thorough investigation from New York's Attorney General Andrew Cuomo at present. They were to receive signage and the rights to all retail banking and credit card transactions in exchange for their money, but now the team will look for a lower-level bank partnership.
That's what Trost says anyway. Given the way his past statements have gone, that probably means a Western Union booth in leftfield and guys with those change-making belts they have at arcades. Kidding aside, given all the negative attention that another bank and baseball partnership garnered, this was a smart move for both Yankees and Bank of America.
Naturally, this news will have people looking into that Citigroup/Mets deal, especially with Friday morning bringing news that the government will be taking a bigger stake in the bank. People will surely ask why that deal is going forward when the deal in the Bronx is dead. There's not really a comparison, though. The Mets and Citi had a signed contract, which wasn't the case for the Yankees, and, one way or the other, the Mets are going to get money from the troubled company.