The team is losing, the coach is fired… and the owner wants a casino.
New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, 67, wants to connect the ballpark with a casino.
“Cohen hopes to build a casino near Citi Field (the Mets’ home stadium) as a way to attract people to the area around the ballpark,” ESPN reported on Dec. 12. Cohen, who bought the Mets ahead of the 2021 season, is hoping to build an attraction near the stadium in Queens, as other teams have done, according to the report. This year, New York State approved three casino licenses in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester, and many groups have discussed proposals. 메이저놀이터
“Fans want something to do before the game and after the game,” Cohen said. Even without a casino, changes inside Citi Field are also reportedly being considered. After topping 4 million in attendance in 2008, the Mets have not regained the 3 million mark since the end of 2009. This season, they have been stuck at 2.5 million, similar to last year. This is a far cry from their local rivals, the New York Yankees, who have surpassed the 3 million mark two years in a row. As fans’ interest waned due to the poor performance, Cohen bought the team for $2.4 billion ($3.2 trillion). “I felt like the Mets were an unpolished gem, and I thought it would be really cool if I could turn this damn team around,” he said.
The results have been less than stellar. The offseason was tumultuous for the Mets. With a record of 75 wins and 87 losses, they finished fifth in the National League (NL) East, just outside the postseason (PS) threshold. Manager Buck Showalter was fired and general manager Billy Eppler resigned. The team spent a franchise-record $120 million (160.7 billion won) on the luxury tax, but it didn’t pay off.
Cohen is an investment guru who heads a multi-billion dollar hedge fund based in Connecticut. The casino is one of his goals, regardless of the team’s performance. In July, the New York Post reported that a company linked to Cohen’s hedge fund spent nearly $99,000 ($130,000) from January to July lobbying City Hall and City Council officials.