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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Mets’ Owner’s Casino Bid Complicating MLS Stadium Project

  • Mets' owner Steve Cohen is using a request around Citi Field's parking lot as leverage in negotiations for his casino bid.
  • NYCFC is hoping to use Citi Field's parking lot for its new stadium.
New York City FC forward Kevin O'Toole (22) controls the ball from Orlando City SC forward Ivan Angulo (77) in the second half at Exploria Stadium.
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Mets owner Steve Cohen won’t allow an MLS neighbor to park for free on his lot.

NYCFC is deep in negotiations for a new, 25,000-seat stadium and housing development neighboring the Mets’ Citi Field, but the MLS team’s ambitions are tangled up in Cohen’s plans for the same area, according to The City.

The club — which isn’t required to offer parking — wants to use Citi Field’s parking lot for its home games, which would require the Mets’ approval. But Cohen is looking to build a casino near Citi Field on 50 acres designated as park land — and is holding out approval on a parking agreement as leverage.

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The NYCFC project is set to transform the area around Citi Field. Plans call for 2,500 units of affordable housing next to the Mets’ stadium and a 650-seat school.

The soccer stadium would be built in the project’s second phase, which will also include a 350-room hotel and could begin by the end of 2024. Construction would be completed in time for the 2026 World Cup and 2027 MLS season.

Meanwhile, Cohen is up against groups including Las Vegas Sands, Resorts World, Related Cos., and Wynn Resorts for a New York City casino license. He’s partnering with Seminole Hard Rock on the bid.

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