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HomeSportsMets owner Steve Cohen seeking to construct casino outside Citi Field entry...

Mets owner Steve Cohen seeking to construct casino outside Citi Field entry gates


Steve Cohen spent a record amount on the New York Mets payroll heading into the 2023 regular season. Now, the billionaire who purchased the franchise ahead of the 2021 season hopes to build attractions around the team’s home ballpark in Queens.

Cohen suggested that a casino would give fans options before and after games.

“The fans want something to do before the game, after the game,” Cohen said.

“There’s nothing going on. The only thing you can do at Citi Field is get your hubcap changed or maybe get back a catalytic converter,” Cohen said Wednesday at Sportico’s Invest in Sports conference. “The way I would describe it is 50 acres of cement.”

New York State has authorized three casino licenses this year for New York City, Long Island and Westchester.

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New York Mets owner Steve Cohen speaks at a press conference prior to the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on June 28, 2023, in New York City. (Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

Elsewhere in Queens, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced plans last November to build a stadium in the Willets Point neighborhood near the Mets home stadium. The soccer-specific stadium for New York City FC could be completed by 2027.

METS GENERAL MANAGER RESIGNS FROM ROLE SHORTLY AFTER TEAM BRINGS IN NEW PRESIDENT OF BASEBALL OPERATIONS

Cohen also is thinking about changes inside Citi Field.

“We’ve done some investing in ballparks and trying to create a fan experience people are excited about. I have tons of ideas I want to implement,” he said. “You can’t spend an unlimited amount of money, so you’ve got to budget. And also, dealing with the underinvestment that I had to deal with coming in. I call it the money pit.”

Steve Cohen in the Mets' dugout

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen defended the team’s deadline moves. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel/File)

The Mets had a disappointing 2023 season, finishing fourth in the NL East with a 75-87 record.

Manager Buck Showalter’s run ended on the final day of the season, and the Mets hired David Stearns on the following day as president of baseball operations. Three days later, Billy Eppler announced his resignation after less than two years as general manager.

Citi Field during playoffs

Mets owner Steve Cohen hopes to build attractions around the team’s home ballpark, Citi Field, in Queens, New York City. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images/File)

Cohen also said he is interviewing candidates to become the team’s CEO.

“Usually, I like everyone the first time,” he said. “It’s the second where I really start to dislike them.”

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He did mention that he enjoyed becoming the owner of a franchise.

“You’re a hedge fund manager. It doesn’t mean much to people,” he said. “But if you’re the owner of a sports team, just people care. And so it’s been transformational for me and my family.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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