Mets owner Steve Cohen partners with Hard Rock on NYC casino bid

Citi Field
Image: Shutterstock / Frank Romeo

After months of being mum regarding exactly what his plans are for a casino proposal next to Citi Field, Mets owner Steve Cohen has finally tipped his hand.

On Tuesday, Cohen announced he is teaming up with Hard Rock Casino to pitch a project called Metropolitan Park.

The $8 billion project consists of not only a proposed casino but also a 20-acre park, conference facility, hotel, music venue, and Queens Food Hall. It is projected to create 15,000 jobs if approved.

“It’s time the world’s greatest city got the sports and entertainment park it deserves. When I bought this team, fans and the community kept saying we needed to do better.  Metropolitan Park delivers on the promise of a shared space that people will not only want to come to and enjoy, but can be truly proud of,” Cohen said in a statement.

“Hard Rock at Metropolitan Park will be rooted in the spirit of music while embracing the unique culture and character of Queens,” added Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International. “Metropolitan Park captures the energy and vision of bringing people together for memorable shared experiences that exemplify the company’s mottos to Love All Serve All, All is One, Save Time to Be Kind, and Save the Planet. We’re excited to bring our unique brand of world class entertainment to Queens.”

One big road block standing in the project’s way is that the state legislature would need to pass a bill clearing the park area surrounding Citi Field to be rezoned. State Sen. Jessica Ramos had previously stated she had no plans to call forth such a bill.

There are only three downstate casino licenses available and many expect existing racinos MGM’s Empire City Casino and Resorts World Queens to be the frontrunners to receive them. That leaves one license for a number of competing projects.

The New York Gaming Facility Location Board is currently in the process of issuing answers to the second round of questions from potential applicants. The group issued answers to a first round of more than 600 questions in August.