Mets Owner’s Casino Bid Hits Roadblock in Senate

Mets owner Steven Cohen's proposed $8 billion casino and entertainment complex in New York encountered a massive setback after Senator Jessica Ramos declared her opposition to the project.

The Metropolitan Park will be built on a parking lot next to Citi Field, the Mets' home stadium.

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Ramos has informed Cohen and Hard Rock, the initiative's partner, about her decision to withhold support for the Metropolitan Park project. The senator pledged not to introduce legislation that would allow the venture to come to fruition, stressing that it could lead to the conversion of state-owned land into commercial use.

I will not introduce legislation to alienate parkland in Corona for the purposes of a casino. We want investment and opportunity, we are desperate for green space, and recreation for the whole family. We disagree on the premise that we have to accept a casino in our backyard as the trade-off. I resent the conditions and the generations of neglect that have made many of us so desperate that we would be willing to settle.

Jessica RamosNew York Senator

However, Ramos is pushing forward with an alternative bill that would allow the City of New York to redevelop the 50-parcel lane, technically within Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The new bill would also grant Cohen and Hard Rock permission to build a convention center and hotel on the site, but not a casino.

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Casino Project to Create 15,000 Jobs

The Metropolitan Park will be built on a parking lot next to Citi Field, the Mets' home stadium. The complex would include a casino hotel, a conference facility, a concert hall, and park space. The development is projected to generate at least 15,000 new jobs and $1 billion in community benefits in New York.

However, the proposal can only become a reality if Cohen and Hard Rock secure one of the three downstate full casino licenses slated to be awarded late next year.

Tight Race for Limited Licenses

The duo are already facing stiff competition from other operators in the state, including Resorts World New York City, which wants to transform its casino into an entertainment resort and needs the license to do so.

Wynn Resorts also needs one of the licenses to implement its proposed development at Hudson Yards in collaboration with Related Companies, a real estate firm.

The Metropolitan Park has gained the support of other local politicians, such as Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and City Councilman Francisco Moya. However, it still requires significant legislative backing before the regular 2024 session closes on June 6.


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