Mets Owner’s $8B Casino Project Gains Support from New York Councilman

Councilman says Steve Cohen's Metropolitan Park complex plan is "in Queens’ and New York City’s best interest.”

Apr 1, 2024 • 15:47 ET • 4 min read
Steve Cohen MLB New York Mets
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Steve Cohen’s plan to put a casino next to the home of the New York Mets has picked up some key support but still lacks important backing. 

Queens councilman Francisco Moya is endorsing the Mets owner’s $8 billion Metropolitan Park complex proposal to bring gaming, a hotel, and a music venue to the Flushing Meadows community. 

“I wholeheartedly believe that Metropolitan Park is in Queens’ and New York City’s best interest,” Moya said in a statement, according to the New York Post. “I am committed to advancing a New York City Council home rule message for the State to authorize the City of New York to seize this opportunity, by permitting additional uses on this land to facilitate the sports, entertainment, and recreational park.”

Park it

However, Cohen isn’t getting support from Sen. Jessica Ramos. 

The New York politician’s support is needed to proceed with the plan. Without a lawmaking change to allow the hedge-fund billionaire access to World Fair parking lots owned by the state, the brick-and-mortar casino may never lay its first brick. 

“If we fail to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, we ensure that the area around Citi Field remains underutilized parking lots for the foreseeable future; and we permanently stymie the future growth potential of Queens,” Moya said. “Let’s not allow that to happen. I look forward to supporting this historic project and making Metropolitan Park a reality.”

Ramos has shown no desire to get involved in this legislative action, and she told The Post that Moya’s comments “are not the open and transparent moves that I would expect from someone claiming to value real, honest community engagement.”

Casino competition

Last fall, Cohen announced a partnership with Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe and operates casinos and hotels throughout the world. 

The Empire State is set to award three U.S. casino licenses, likely in 2025, for city projects. Cohen’s proposal is one of several others vying for them, and Ramos recently posted a social media photo of herself with rapper Nas, who’s part of a Resorts World bid. 

Casino operators Wynn, Bally’s, Sands, and Caesars are also involved in the gaming competition. 

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