New York Mets

Mets owner Steve Cohen announces $8B plan to develop area around Citi Field

The new development, known as Metropolitan Park, will include a Hard Rock Hotel, park space and playgrounds, and if Cohen gets his way, a sportsbook and casino

NBC Universal, Inc.

The area around Citi Field will look very different in the future in New York Mets owner and billionaire Steve Cohen gets his way.

Cohen announced plans on Tuesday for a new development on the 50 acres of asphalt around the ballpark. The project, known as Metropolitan Park, will include 20 acres of new public park space and an additional five acres of athletic fields and playgrounds.

Metropolitan Park

The Queens Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the proposal, which could put an estimated 15,000 people to work.

The development also includes a food hall, tailgate space, bars and restaurants, conference spaces and bike paths.

One of the key pieces of the project is a Hard Rock hotel, which will include a live music venue and gaming.

“Hard Rock at Metropolitan Park will be rooted in the spirit of music while embracing the unique culture and character of Queens,” said Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, in a statement. “Metropolitan Park captures the energy and vision of bringing people together for memorable shared experiences ..."

The prospect of a full-fledge casino down state has a lot of people betting big.

Last year, NBC New York reported at least four groups wanted a casino, as part of a process that started in January 2023. The number of bids is now expected to be 11. However, the state gaming commission is only planning to issue three casino licenses in New York City, on Long Island, or in Westchester County.

The goal at Metropolitan Park is to build a casino and sportsbook, but that gaming commission license is needed.

"We will see, I think the other sites outside of Queens are not ideal and we [are] very bullish on both proposals for Queens County," said Tom Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

The state gaming commission is still months away from making the final decision on where those three licenses will go.

“It’s time the world’s greatest city got the sports and entertainment park it deserves,” Cohen said in a statement. “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.”

Metropolitan Park's leaders cite 15 community workshops that were held to seek ideas on how to best develop the area around Citi Field, which has two million fans visiting every year.

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