is exploring the possibility of backing out of a nearly $400 million marketing deal with the New York Mets, the
Wall Street Journal
reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
Officials at Citigroup have made no final decision about whether to try to void the 20-year agreement, which includes naming the Mets' new baseball stadium after the bank, the newspaper reports.
In a statement Monday, Citigroup said that "no TARP capital will be used" for the stadium -- referring to government funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Lenders have come under fire about how they are using government bailout money.
Two House members, Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat, and Ted Poe, a Republican from Texas, wrote a letter last week to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asking him to get
to walk away from the deal.
"We request that you intervene and demand that Citigroup dissolve the agreement they have with the New York Mets," the letter from the representatives read. "Absent this outcome, we feel strongly that you should compel Citigroup to return immediately all federal monies received to date, as well as cancel all loan guarantees."
If Citigroup backs out of its agreement with the Mets, the
reports, it likely wouldn't happen immediately and could involve the bank paying a break-up penalty to the Mets.
The Mets "are fully committed to our contract with Citi," a spokesman for the team told the
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.