Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jackie Robinson Stadium? Let the Guilt Trip Begin [J. Mark English]

"The Mets should forsake the theoretical $10 million a year they could squeeze out of some corporation for its name and give it to Jackie Robinson, a local hero." - George Vecsey

"And the Mets still have their minds set on finding an appropriate - that is, deep-pocketed - 'corporate partner' willing to pony up for naming rights...Wouldn't it be great, at the upcoming official groundbreaking for the venue, that it be for Jackie Robinson Stadium?" - New York Post
"I want to thank also the USTA for not just selling sponsorship every single second, that we've kept a lot of integrity here with Arthur and Louis and myself. I certainly hope Jackie Robinson, I hope the Mets do the right thing, that's a no brainer, too, as Mr. Vessey wrote about yesterday." - Billie Jean King
Please do not misunderstand my appreciation for Jackie Robinson. He is one of my favorite players of all time. And I would love to attend Met games a few years from now in a place called Jackie Robinson Stadium. However, I cannot afford to make that decision for the Mets. The New York Post, Billie Jean King, and the George Vecsey's employers (the New York Times) have the resources to 'pony' up 10 million dollars to honor Jackie Robinson.
If the New York Mets want to 'sell out' to the highest bidder for the naming rights of a stadium, then let them. By bringing in ten million a year, the Mets will be making other aspects of the game more affordable. The team after all is paying for the building of their new stadium. Shouldn't they be able to have the right to figure out how to drive down costs? Wouldn't the New York Post and the New York Times do the same thing? Its sound business...
It is easy to attack the Mets, and to tell them what they should do with their own money from the sidelines. But if these heart wrenching preachers really cared this much about Jackie Robinson then they should start fundraising now, and pay the Mets to name the stadium after the great Dodger. Otherwise they are leading the Mets down the path of a meaningless guilt trip. Shame on them.