NEW YORK -- The name of the Mets' new home ballpark will be Shea no more, come 2009. The successor to Shea, the club's home since 1964, is to be named CitiField, according to several newspapers and Internet reports. The name comes from CitiCorp, Inc., the biggest bank in the nation, according to reports which put the value of the naming rights at as much as $20 million annually.
The Mets declined to comment on the reports.
One report said that the deal would be the most lucrative stadium-rights agreement ever, in terms of revenue per year, exceeding the 32-year, $300 million contract between the Houston Texans of the NFL and Reliant Energy Inc. None of the reports established the length of the contract.
Formal announcement of the name is expected to come Monday at the site of the new park, adjacent to Shea Stadium, during official groundbreaking ceremonies. Work at the site began months ago.
The Mets are to play two more seasons at Shea before their first game at CitiField, a 45,000-seat facility reminiscent of Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Superbas and Dodgers from 1913-57, and the ballpark Mets owner Fred Wilpon embraced as a child.
Citigroup was the lead underwriter when the Mets sold $613 million in bonds earlier this year to help finance construction of the stadium.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.