The New York Mets made a slew of upgrades to their home for the 2022 season, but there are indications Citi Field development could be in the works–and potentially a new soccer stadium.
First: various New York City media outlets are reporting that the city and MLS’s NYCFC are close to an agreement on a new 25,000-seat stadium at the Citi Field Willets Point site. Take it with a grain of salt, of course, as we’ve seen plenty of NYCFC stadium plans fail. But the idea is not outside the realm of possibility: Flushing Meadows has been discussed as a potential soccer stadium site before, while MLS and the team are certainly working toward a new stadium to be open for World Cup 2026. We have more at Soccer Stadium Digest.
A new soccer stadium would certainly fit into Mets owner Steve Cohen’s vision for the Citi Field site: a mixed-use development that featuring a casino and presumably a sportsbook. Not a secret that sportsbooks are the next big thing in MLB–see Chicago, Phoenix, Washington, Denver–so it makes sense that Cohen would be seeking to monetize the ballpark site with Citi Field development. It’s interesting that Cohen didn’t really publicly discuss Citi Field development when bidding for the Mets in 2020; at the time it was the Alex Rodriguez/Jennifer Lopez group that raised the prospect of some sort of development to unlock hidden value with the team and Citi Field. Cohen must have been paying attention to the competing Mets bids, however.
Adding both a soccer stadium to what’s a desirable location and a site generating decent traffic anyway would be a developer’s dream come true.