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ICE, ICE, MAYBE? STEINBRENNER INQUIRES ABOUT ISLANDERS
Published August 26, 1997
Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner has made "preliminary inquiries, through an intermediary," about purchasing the Islanders, "several" sources close to the NHL and MLB tell Dan Wasserman of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. While Steinbrenner initiated contact with the Islanders more than two weeks ago, his reps "have not followed up over the last 10 days," according to one person familiar with the discussions. Brett Pickett, son of Islanders Owner John Pickett, whose law firm is representing his father in sale negotiations, said, "We've had interest expressed by close to 18 investor groups. We're engaged in due diligence with about 10 of those groups, and about four are close to talking numbers." Wasserman writes that it "appears" the expected $200M+ price tag for the Islanders, plus rights to their long-term cable TV deal, "may be too steep for Steinbrenner, who would seek the support of his Yankees limited partners to finance the deal." But Steinbrenner "hasn't ruled out an Islanders offer," since one attraction would be the ability "to promote the Yankees on a year-round basis." Steinbrenner was unavailable for comment (STAR-LEDGER, 8/26).