steve cohen mets
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Steve Cohen is now in his third season as owner of the Mets. In that short period of time, he’s turned the organization from a league-wide punchline to a financial powerhouse. Citi Field has also become a desirable destination for baseball’s top free agents. His words and actions have given Mets fans hope and confidence in the team’s direction for the first time in what feels like a generation.

With a record-setting payroll to begin the year — along with a record-setting luxury-tax payment — we tend to just assume he’ll shell out money for anything. And in most cases, that’s exactly what happens. But not all the time.

Cohen is baseball’s richest owner. He’s shown he won’t cut corners to help his club get better or improve the fan experience at Citi Field. But just like everyone else, the man has limits.

One of those limits? That’d be putting a retractable roof on Citi Field. On the heels of consecutive rainouts over the weekend, Jon Heyman of the New York Post brought up this topic again in a recent article.

For those who don’t remember, putting a roof on Citi Field was a possibility before the stadium was built. However, the Wilpons opted to not spend the extra $100-125 million (according to Heyman) for it to be done. Cohen has looked into how much it’d cost to get done now. The potential price tag has even made him step back to take a breath:

Mets owner Steve Cohen is one who’s looked into building a retractable roof for Citi Field, no surprise since he’ll consider anything to improve Mets fan experience.

And word is Cohen was told it would cost $800 million to add a retractable roof, which seems to have given him pause to the point where he is currently considering it a missed opportunity. (The cost would have been a mere fraction of that upon construction, more on that later.)

At one point in our text exchange Sunday, he suggested an alternative to my retractable roof suggestion: “Let’s put small umbrellas on helmets.” Which I took to mean that a roof on Citi Field is even less tenable — at least to him at the moment.

I mean, do you blame the guy? After doing some searching on the interwebs, it looks like the cost to build Citi Field alone in advance of its opening in 2009 was $900 million. So, we’re talking about eventually paying for another whole stadium, but in the form of a retractable roof. And it’s way more expensive than it would’ve been had it happened during the original construction.

We know Cohen and the Mets aren’t afraid of upgrading Citi Field in other ways. The huge scoreboard and the speakeasy beyond the right-field fence are two examples. But yea, if I were him, I wouldn’t rush into spending that kind of money. Regardless of my net worth.

Maybe it’s something that’ll happen down the road. You know, after a World Series title or two and the payroll comes down a bit thanks to a healthy minor-league system consistently pushing young talent to the big leagues. But for right now, a retractable roof for Citi Field will just remain a dream.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.