Citi Field Casino Gamble: Sen. Ramos Boos Mets Plan, Borough Pres. Richards Says Keep Rolling

May 29, 2024

"State Senator Jessica Ramos (D-Corona, Jackson Heights) dealt a serious blow Tuesday to New York Mets owner Steve Cohen’s dream of building a massive casino and entertainment complex on the parking lot adjoining Citi Field where Shea Stadium once stood," reported QNS. " Ramos announced she would not support the $8 billion Metropolitan Park proposal, rejecting major pressure from her colleagues in government, including Queens Borough President Donovan Richards (D), and community leaders from nearby neighborhoods, who urged her to support permitted use legislation that would be required to build the complex on state-owned public parkland."

“Whether people rallied for or against Metropolitan Park, I heard the same dreams for Corona,” Ramos said in a statement. “We want investment and opportunity, we are desperate for green space, and recreation for the whole family. We disagree on the premise that we have to accept a casino in our backyard as the trade-off. I resent the conditions and the generations of neglect that have made many of us so desperate that we would be willing to settle.”

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. was quick to push back on Sen. Ramos: “No one elected official should be the sole arbiter of this $8 billion investment, so I strongly urge Governor Hochul and the State Senate to explore other avenues to bring the Metropolitan Park proposal to life and ensure that Queens continues to get the money we deserve,” he posted on social media. 

"Without the rezoning, Cohen’s project can’t even get into the batter’s box for consideration by state regulators, who are currently fielding his city casino bid and a host of others," reported the NY Post. "Theoretically, another state senator could introduce the bill to aid Cohen’s plan. But lawmakers are reluctant to big-foot a colleague on a project important in his or her district, and it would be rare to do so, sources said."