The Mets reportedly wanted to put a casino next to Citi Field. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
The owners of the New York Mets wanted to put a casino next to Citi Field, where their team plays its home games, reports the New York Post.
The Mets owner, Fred Wilpon and his family own a real estate company called Sterling Equities and reportedly pitched a casino adjacent to the stadium in September 2011. The report says they offered the City of New York $100 million to purchase 62 acres for the site.
While team owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz are still having trouble opening their tight pockets for high-priced free agents, that didn’t stop their development arm, Sterling Equities, from betting on a proposal that called for bringing a massive casino with gaming tables and slots, a 500-room, full-service hotel, 1.8 million square feet of retail and other amenities to the Willets Point development site in Queens.
The Mets have been in financial dire straits for some time, as they are trying to recoup some of the $162 million which they still owe for the Bernie Madoff Ponzi-scheme fiasco. The team lowered its payroll to about $93 million this season, down from $143 million in 2011, when the team lost $70 million.