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ISLANDERS' BUYER GLUCKSTERN GETS GOOD REVIEWS FROM MEDIA
Published September 15, 1997
The Islanders introduced Coyotes co-Owner Steven Gluckstern as "the newest would-be owner" of the team on Friday, according to John Valenti of NEWSDAY. Gluckstern and partners, New York Sports Ventures, signed a letter of intent for the team and its cable TV package worth $195M. Islanders GM Mike Milbury: "The last guy who came in here brought enthusiasm. This guy brought cash with him, too." Valenti: "Not to mention a stage presence, sense of humor and human touch that was noticeably lacking in the often- dour [John] Spano." Gluckstern said that of "significant appeal" to him and his partners in the purchase was the chance to redevelop the 70-acre Mitchel Field parcel at Nassau Coliseum. Gluckstern: "This is about three things that were attractive to us. The franchise, a unique television contract and the 70 acres we're sitting on top of now." New York Sports Ventures also includes "two major" NY real estate developers, Howard Milstein and Stephen Ross, as well as NY businessman Dan Doctoroff. The group hopes to have the deal approved by the NHL Board of Governors by December, but a league source said Friday that a "more realistic timetable" would be January (NEWSDAY, 9/13). Brett Pickett, son of current Isles Owner John Pickett, will continue to operate the club until the end of the year (Michael James, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/13). RAVE REVIEWS: NEWSDAY's Fessenden, Valenti, et al. write that Gluckstern "heads what may be one of the most overqualified ownerships in the most blue-collar of professional sports." Islanders co-Chair & CEO Bob Rosenthal: "Gluckstern is a no-nonsense man. He's already in the business, he wanted the Islanders, he negotiated in a very fair way, a very tough way" (NEWSDAY, 9/14). NEWSDAY's Steve Jacobson: "[I]mmediately, there is stability for a team that is now growing into a competitive level after nearly 10 years in the doldrums" (NEWSDAY, 9/14). SLOW TRACK: Gluckstern said it will take five years to replace the Nassau Coliseum, but NEWSDAY's Ken Moritsugu wrote that the tentative sale "has renewed hope among" Nassau execs for a "private sector-led major redevelopment of the Coliseum property in Uniondale, including a new arena, an exhibition hall, a hotel and sports and entertainment-related retail stores" (NEWSDAY, 9/13). COYOTES UPDATE: In AZ, Coyotes CEO Richard Burke, on losing Gluckstern: "Things will not change, as far as the operation goes. ... But my role will lesson." The REPUBLIC's Tim Tyers: "Perhaps a bigger question is whether the ownership change will also affect the Coyotes' relationship with Suns President Jerry Colangelo. His management company hold the Coyotes' lease at America West Arena." Burke said that any talk about a possible move out of America West Arena is just talk, "at least for the near future" (Tim Tyers, ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/13).