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New York Mets owner Cohen unveils $8bn Hard Rock casino plan

| By Richard Mulligan
New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and Hard Rock International have unveiled plans for an $8bn casino resort at Citi Field ballpark.
New York Mets casino

The Metropolitan Park complex would rise on 50 acres of parking lot space surrounding the ballpark in the Queens district of New York City. Included in the proposal is a Hard Rock hotel and casino and separate sportsbook site, which are subject to licences being obtained. There will also be a live music venue, tailgate park, food hall and 20 acres of new park space.

According to the plans, nearly 15,000 permanent and construction jobs will be created.

Metropolitan Park Site plan

Those backing the project said it can become “the next great New York landmark” and will serve as a year-round draw for tourists. The site is close to both LaGuardia Airport and Flushing Meadows, the home of the US Open.

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

“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 backed by local community

The formalised plans have been developed in the three years since Cohen acquired the Mets for $2.4bn. Cohen’s team has hosted more than 15 community workshops and conducted over 20,000 door-to-door conversations. Over 89% of those that have been engaged door-to-door have signed a petition in support of the project.

Reaching out to the community, the project features plans for an accessible and renovated mass transit station. It will include infrastructure such as solar, green roofs and offer new connections to the waterfront, park and surrounding community.

“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.

“Metropolitan Park captures the energy and vision of bringing people together for memorable shared experiences. We’re excited to bring our unique brand of world class entertainment to Queens.”

Those involved in developing the project include New York-based SHoP Architects, Field Operations and construction firm McKissack.

Pastor Patrick Young, who leads a local church, is one of those backing the project.

He said: “This is an opportunity to elevate and celebrate the spirit of Queens. With more local restaurants and vendors, a live music venue, and space for community groups and local artists.

“And it is an opportunity for real investment in local infrastructure. To connect neighborhoods and provide greater transportation options for residents. Above all, though, this is our opportunity to bring thousands of new, good-paying local jobs to the area.”

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