It Will Always Be “The CITS” To Joe

April 9th, 2009
Listen you mopes: The name of the stadium on Dale Mabry is The CITS. Call is something else and Ill sick Clevis on you. Hand me the Daily Racing Form. Whats the spread?

"Listen you mopes: The name of the football stadium is 'The CITS.' Call it something else and Clevis will deposit his calling card on your front yard. Now hand me the Daily Racing Form. What's the spread?"

Forbes has an interesting story on the state of finances of pro sports teams, and a peek into the near future.

Teams in the 21st Century get a nice piece of change from companies for the naming rights of stadiums. Quite a few financial institutions are among them, including the outfit that has its name placed on “The CITS,” the home of the Bucs.

(When that company wants to offer Joe a low-interest loan on a new house, then Joe will use that financial company’s name. Until then: Up yours!)

Part of the reason Joe calls the stadium “The CITS” (Community Investment Tax Stadium) is an homage to the late great Chris Thomas who coined the phrase.

But with many of these same financial institutions begging for Obama bailouts, we may be seeing the beginning of the end of eight-(nine?) figure naming rights fees.

Another financial player, Raymond James, which has $55 million left to pay on its deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers through 2026, has applied for TARP funds but hasn’t collected. A spokeswoman says it’s still far from certain whether Raymond James will take the funds if they’re approved. Reps from other banks on the list either declined comment or didn’t return calls.

Chris Thomas predicted this some years ago, referring to teams flush with corporate funds as “the golden goose.” Well, the Golden Goose has flown away. As Chris would say, “Now what?”

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