Steve Cohen Reveals $8bn NYC Investment Plan That Includes Potential Hard Rock Casino

  • Metropolitan Park would cover about 50 acres surrounding Citi Field
  • The project still has plenty of hurdles to negotiate before becoming a reality
  • There is no timeline for New York’s gaming regulator to award casino licenses
Citi Field
New York Mets Owner Steve Cohen has revealed an $8bn plan to transform the area surrounding Citi Field, which includes a casino and sportsbook. [Image:]

A major plan

New York City is one of the richest cities in the world. Steve Cohen, worth a reported $13.9bn, is one of the many people who has made a fortune in the Big Apple. He bought the New York Mets in October 2020 and now has a grand plan to transform the area around the team’s Citi Field in Queens.

Metropolitan Park would encompass about 50 acres

Cohen revealed a plan on Tuesday that would see an investment of $8bn into developing an extensive sports, entertainment, and casino complex. Metropolitan Park would encompass about 50 acres surrounding the ballpark, revitalizing the area.

The billionaire said that it is about time that “the world’s greatest city got the sports and entertainment park it deserves.” A number of firms will be partnering with Cohen on this project including casino company Hard Rock International and SHoP Architects.

Details of the proposal

The plan is to have new park space cover 20 acres, with another five acres catering to playgrounds and sports fields. An entertainment complex would contain a Hard Rock hotel, as well as a casino, sportsbook, and live music venue. The developers would also improve the transportation infrastructure in the surrounding area, including better parking facilities and a more modern road and bike network.

project would create about 15,000 temporary and permanent jobs

While Cohen estimates that the project would create about 15,000 temporary and permanent jobs, the plan still faces plenty of hurdles before becoming a reality. The 50 acres of land are currently designated for parkland, so a public process is necessary to rezone it.

Governor Kathy Hochul will need to green light commercial development, the New York State Gaming Commission will have to award one of three available downstate casino licenses, and local elected officials in Queens will also have to approve the plan.

Plenty of competition

Cohen will need to get backing from local politicians and residents to bolster the project. The 67-year-old has already spent millions on community sessions and lobbyists to get feedback on plans and to try to drum up support.

There is a lot of competition to get one of the three available casino licenses. It appears that two existing slot machine facilities, the MGM Empire City Casino and the Resorts World Casino, are the frontrunners to get licenses, which leaves the rest battling it out for one more.

Spectrum Gaming estimated that a casino in Queens could generate annual revenue of almost $2bn by 2025.

Some of the other proposals include a Jay Z-backed casino in Times Square, a property on a former Trump-controlled golf course in the Bronx, and a facility in Hudson Yards. The final decision from the state’s gaming regulators on the fate of the licenses isn’t expected for a while and there is no firm deadline in place.

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