Steve Cohen, the owner of the New York Mets, has announced plans to collaborate with Hard Rock International on an $8 billion casino resort at Citi Field ballpark. The Metropolitan Park complex will encompass 50 acres of parking lot space around the stadium in the Queens district of New York City.

The comprehensive proposal includes a Hard Rock hotel and casino, as well as a separate sportsbook site, pending approval for necessary licenses. Additionally, the development will feature a live music venue, a tailgate park, a food hall, and 20 acres of new park space.

The project is set to create nearly 15,000 permanent and construction jobs, positioning it as a significant economic driver for the local area. Proponents of the initiative believe that it has the potential to become a major tourist attraction and serve as a year-round destination. The site’s proximity to LaGuardia Airport and Flushing Meadows, home of the US Open, further bolsters its appeal.

Steve Cohen expressed his enthusiasm for the endeavor, stating, “It’s time the world’s greatest city got the sports and entertainment park it deserves.” Cohen’s team has spent the last three years developing the plans since he purchased the Mets for $2.4 billion. They have engaged with the community through workshops, door-to-door conversations, and petition signatures in support of the project.

The initiative also prioritizes local infrastructure development, including an accessible and renovated mass transit station, solar and green roof infrastructure, and new connections to the waterfront, parks, and surrounding community.

Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock, emphasized the brand’s commitment to capturing the spirit of music while integrating the culture and character of Queens in the Metropolitan Park project. The team behind the development includes New York-based SHoP Architects, Field Operations, and construction firm McKissack.

Members of the local community, such as Pastor Patrick Young, have expressed their support for the project, emphasizing its potential to bring new jobs, investment in local infrastructure, and celebrate the spirit of Queens. With plans to incorporate local restaurants, a live music venue, and spaces for community groups and local artists, the initiative aims to benefit residents while bolstering the area’s economy and cultural appeal.

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