I went to the Mets game last night with my dad and brother, and for the first time it was brought home to me that Shea Stadium's replacement is being called "Citi Field" as in the giant financial services firm, rather than "City Field" as in the English language phrase. The very possibility of the confusion seems to me to indicate that the Mets are pretty lucky in the sponsor they got. How annoying a sponsorship deal is always strikes me as having something to do with how annoying the name of the sponsoring corporation is. A straightforward one-word brand name like' "Staples Center" isn't nearly as bad as "TD Banknorth Garden" so it seems to me that companies with relatively inoffensive names should get a discount.

Of course the other thing is that pure longevity can dignify any kind of name. It almost feels as if the gum is named after Wrigley Field rather than the other way around, whereas when something happens like mergers in the telecom industry force the MCI Center to become the Verizon Center, you're really getting your nose rubbed into the seediness of it all.

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