David P. Cohen ’95
A Home Run
For lifelong baseball fan David P. Cohen ’95 LL.M., an office overlooking the pristine outfield at Citi Field in Queens is pretty much as good as it gets.
“I pinch myself every day,” says a smiling Cohen, who is the executive vice president and general counsel for the Mets. “My favorite sport was always baseball.”
Cohen grew up a Cincinnati Reds fan. When he moved to Atlanta after law school, he started rooting for the Braves. But neither allegiance could withstand the pull of the Mets: The team offered Cohen an internship during his LL.M. studies at Columbia Law School. When Cohen graduated, that internship turned into a full-time job. “I had to flip a switch,” recalls Cohen, pictured below with his two sons. “I stopped rooting for the Braves and became a Mets fan.”
Cohen now stands at the helm of the Mets’ in-house legal department, a four-person team of heavy hitters who most recently shepherded the franchise through the construction of the $800 million replacement for Shea Stadium.
Initially, Citi Field was meant to double as an Olympic venue if New York had won its bid to host the 2012 summer games. New York ultimately was not selected, but the Mets franchise charged ahead with the ballpark’s construction. Cohen and his legal team spent a year wrangling with municipal financing details and addressing an array of city, state, and federal legal and tax issues, in addition to preparing for the colossal building project to begin in the summer of 2006. “For that year, the project was all-consuming,” Cohen says. “Now, it’s just another part of the day.”