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Mets owner Steve Cohen makes hardball pitch for support for $8 billion casino project next to Citi Field

Mets owner Steve Cohen lined up the backing of 100 civic leaders, small enterprise house owners and residents Monday to again his $8 billion “Metropolitan Park” plan to construct a casino advanced project next to Citi Field — a hardball bid to woo resistant state Sen. Jessica Ramos to support the project. 

Billionaire Cohen wants Ramos to transfer laws in Albany to re-designate the parking tons and different property across the Mets ballpark from parkland to industrial use so as to bid on the project.

Ramos has refused to achieve this since Cohen made the request greater than a 12 months in the past — and there are only some extra weeks remaining within the 2024 legislative session.

About 100 people gathered at Diversity Plaza in Queens at 3:30pm to hear roughly a dozen speakers advocate for pushing forward on the Metropolitan Park project on May 13, 2024.
About 100 folks gathered at Diversity Plaza in Queens at 3:30pm to hear roughly a dozen audio system advocate for pushing ahead on the Metropolitan Park project on May 13, 2024. Dorian Geiger/NY Post

In a not-so-subtle transfer, the pro-casino rally was held in Diversity Park in Jackson Heights close to Ramos’ district workplace.

Supporters chanted and carried indicators saying,  “We want jobs,” “We Deserve Nice Things,” “No More Asphalt,” “We want generational wealth” and “Moms for Metropolitan Park.”

Going to bat for the casino project had been parishioners of First Baptist Church of Corona, who stated the project would generate job alternatives and leisure for close by Queens residents.

Mets' owner Steve Cohen's "Metropolitan Park" plan will see a casino be built next to Citi Field in Queens.
Mets’ owner Steve Cohen’s “Metropolitan Park” plan will see a casino be constructed next to Citi Field in Queens. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Dwight Young, 25, stated the casino plan “provides an opportunity for young men, young people to … generate generational wealth.”

“As a black man inside of East Elmhurst, New York, especially in Queens, we haven’t had a lot of opportunity to get a lot of jobs and build generational wealth inside our community,” he stated.

His mother, Valerie Young, 60, stated it was essential to have leisure choices in Queens.

“I travel too far to experience it in other boroughs. We deserve it here. With everything changing, our community is changing — people need jobs. We need whatever we can to generate sustainability. We deserve it.,” she stated.

Queens residents praised Steve Cohen’s ‘Metropolitan Park’ plan for bringing entertainment options and opportunities to the area.
Queens residents praised Steve Cohen’s ‘Metropolitan Park’ plan for bringing leisure choices and alternatives to the world. Dorian Geiger/NY Post

Eddie Valentin, owner of pioneering LGBTQ bar Friend’s Tavern, stated the casino-entertainment advanced was a house run.

“I say we do this. We do this, not only because we’re turning a black tar, ugly space into something beautiful for the future and for the children of the neighborhood but at the same time, we’re going to be uniting a lot of people who are coming for different concerts, who are coming for the hotels, and who’s coming for a better Flushing Meadow Park,” Valentin stated.

“Anytime I go to a concert, anytime I go to anything I have to an outer-borough to do it. Why can’t it be that I can’t just take my beautiful number 7 train, go four stops, and find the same thing there? Why do I have to go to Brooklyn? ….Why do I have to go to Nassau County or Suffolk County to go to a concert? Why can’t I do it here?

Ramos, asked about the Cohen squeeze play on her turf, said in a text statement, “Steve Cohen is doing his job trying to win support for his casino bid, and I’m doing mine in Albany representing my constituents.”

Sen. Jessica Ramos has refused to move the legislation in Albany since Steve Cohen made the request more than a year ago.
Sen. Jessica Ramos has refused to transfer the laws in Albany since Steve Cohen made the request greater than a 12 months in the past. Paul Martinka
An Aerial overview of Steve Cohen’s casino project as a part of the brand new “Metropolitan Park” in Queens. offered

Other Queens officers again the project.

Councilman Francisco Moya and Assemblyman Jeffry Aubry, who additionally represents the neighborhoods round Citi Field, have pledged their support, as has Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.

“Why would you want to lose $8 billion inside your backyard? It’s ridiculous,” stated one Queens political insider, who requested anonymity in order not to jeopardize the prospect of Ramos becoming a member of the casino crew.

Last November, Cohen unveiled his sprawling gaming heart, resort, and music venue close to the Mets ball park that he dubbed “Metropolitan Park” after the crew’s full company identify.

The proposed leisure advanced, which will likely be operated with Cohen by Hard Rock International, additionally provides the neighborhood goodies resembling 20 acres of inexperienced house and entry to Flushing Bay.  

Meanwhile, the present Genting Resorts World New York slots parlor by Aqueduct Race Track in Queens plans on submitting a bid for a state license to provide live desk video games that may embrace an expanded advanced that includes a brand new 7,000-seat live performance corridor.

Other casino plans embrace Bally’s at Ferry Point in The Bronx, one with Related Companies and Wynn Resorts in Hudson Yards, the Silverstein Properties in Hell’s Kitchen, the Thor Equity consortium gaming facility advanced alongside the Coney Island boardwalk and Sands casino on the Nassau Coliseum hub in Uniondale.

State regulators are usually not anticipated to award the licenses till the tip of 2025.

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