Steve Cohen’s Amazin’, Maddening, Money-Losing Bid to Own New York

“Even if it’s potentially strategic humility,” he said, “it’s still humility.”

Last year, Cohen hosted de Blasio’s successor, Mayor Eric Adams, to discuss development ideas at Citi Field, earning the attention of other prospective casino bidders. Cohen, who in 2021 gave more than $1 million to an Adams-boosting super PAC, has also visited Zero Bond, the private Manhattan club where Adams has been a regular. (Cohen’s daughter has served as the space’s curator.)

Already, the men have found occasion to collaborate. Pressured last year to lift vaccination requirements for pro athletes based in the city after Kyrie Irving, then with the Nets, refused to comply, Adams was inclined to change the policy but appeared sensitive to criticism that he was caving to one player. Cohen was positioned to help them both: The mayor announced the ban’s end not at the Nets’ home arena but at Citi Field — where, as it happened, several unvaccinated Mets would have been sidelined, too.

“Cohen is the de facto king of New York,” said Neal Kwatra, a veteran political strategist, before sizing up the owner’s former tormentor. “Bharara is doing podcasts.”

Told of the remark, Cohen smiled.

“It’s funny,” he said, “how the world turns.”

Of all the Mets’ throwback indignities — late-season collapses, less-than-amazin’ talent, little-sibling status in its city — the Bobby Bonilla contract stands apart.

Every July 1, Bonilla, 60, who last played in 2001, collects a seven-figure check. Rather than pay out the remaining $5.9 million on Bonilla’s contract, the Mets agreed to send him nearly $1.2 million annually from 2011 through 2035, the sort of maneuver that became synonymous with the franchise’s mismanagement and small-time wheeler dealing.

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