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Mets owner, Hard Rock to partner on proposed casino project

The proposed casino and entertainment complex would be located next to the Citi Field baseball stadium in Queens. (Shutterstock/Frank Romeo)

Billionaire New York Mets baseball owner Steve Cohen unveiled details of a proposed $8 billion casino and entertainment complex in partnership with Hard Rock International (HRI) at a press conference Nov. 7. The sprawling development would be located in New York City’s Queens borough, next to the Citi Field baseball stadium.

According to media reports, Cohen is competing with nearly a dozen other applicants vying for one of only three state licenses that allow construction of a full-scale casino in downstate New York. At the press conference at Citi Field, Cohen said he plans to partner with HRI and SHoP Architects to build the gaming complex, which is being called Metropolitan Park.

“Hard Rock at Metropolitan Park will be rooted in the spirit of music while embracing the unique culture and character of Queens,” Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International and CEO of Seminole Gaming, said in a statement after Cohen’s press conference. “Metropolitan Park captures the energy and vision of bringing people together for memorable shared experiences that exemplify the company’s mottos to ‘Love All Serve All, All is One, Save Time to Be Kind, and Save the Planet.’ We’re excited to bring our unique brand of world class entertainment to Queens.”

The Seminole Tribe – parent entity of Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming – has longtime ties to New York City. Most recently, in May 2022, the 36-story Hard Rock Hotel New York opened in Midtown Manhattan, not far from the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square. It was the Hard Rock Cafe (which opened in 2005) where the tribe announced Dec. 6, 2006, that it purchased Hard Rock.

In addition to the casino, Cohen said Metropolitan Park would feature 20 acres of public park space, new athletic fields, a renovated mass-transit station and a “Queens food hall.”

According to a recent study from gaming consultants Spectrum Gaming Group, a Queens casino could generate as much as $1.9 billion in annual revenue by 2025.

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