New York Mets owner and Hard Rock unveil $8bn entertainment resort plan

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and Hard Rock International have unveiled plans for a new $8bn entertainment resort at Citi Field ballpark.

The Metropolitan Park complex would rise on 50 acres of parking lot space surrounding the ballpark in the Queens district of New York City. Included in the proposal is a Hard Rock International live music venue, hotel and casino. There will also be a tailgate park, food hall and 20 acres of new park space.

According to the plans, nearly 15,000 permanent and construction jobs will be created.

Those backing the project said it can become “the next great New York landmark” and will serve as a year-round draw for tourists.

“It’s time the world’s greatest city got the sports and entertainment park it deserves,” said tycoon Cohen.

“When I bought this team, fans and the community kept saying we needed to do better.  Metropolitan Park delivers on the promise of a shared space that people will not only want to come to and enjoy, but can be truly proud of.”

New York Mets Hard Rock

Metropolitan Park backed by local community

The formalised plans have been developed in the three years since Cohen acquired the Mets for $2.4bn. Cohen’s team has hosted more than 15 community workshops and conducted over 20,000 door-to-door conversations. Over 89% of those that have been engaged door-to-door have signed a petition in support of the project.

Reaching out to the community, the project features plans for an accessible and renovated mass transit station. It will include climate-ready infrastructure such as solar, green roofs and offer new connections to the waterfront, park, and surrounding community.

“Hard Rock at Metropolitan Park will be rooted in the spirit of music while embracing the unique culture and character of Queens,” said Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock.

“Metropolitan Park captures the energy and vision of bringing people together for memorable shared experiences that exemplifies 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.”

Those involved in developing the project include New York-based SHoP Architects, Field Operations, and construction firm McKissack.

Pastor Patrick Young, who leads a local church, is one of those backing the project.

He said: “This is an opportunity to elevate and celebrate the spirit of Queens, with more local restaurants and vendors, a live music venue, and space for community groups and local artists.

“And it is an opportunity for real investment in local infrastructure, to connect neighbourhoods and provide greater transportation options for residents. Above all, though, this is our opportunity to bring thousands of new, good-paying local jobs to the area.”