SBD/10/Franchises

HESS FUNERAL TODAY; SPECULATION HAS TEAM GOING FOR $500M

          More than a thousand mourners are expected this morning
     at the funeral of former Jets Owner Leon Hess at the Park
     Avenue Synagogue in N.Y., including most of the NFL's
     owners, politicians, celebrities and other distinguished
     dignitaries (Randy Lange, Bergen RECORD, 5/10).  
          FUTURE OF TEAM: With Hess' passing, there is
     speculation around the NFL that the Jets will be put up for
     sale, as Hess told team owners and league officials that he
     wanted the Jets to be sold after his death (N.Y. TIMES,
     5/8).  In NJ, Randy Lange reported that Hess' son, John, has
     said that he "is not interested in NFL ownership" and the
     team "is likely to be sold."  Lange named Cablevision CEO
     James Dolan, Devils Owner John McMullen, Giants co-Owner
     Robert Tisch, Donald Trump and Isles co-Owner Howard
     Milstein as potential bidders.  But a league source said
     that Tisch "appears happy" with the Giants and Trump would
     have to get rid of his casinos (Bergen RECORD, 5/8).  In
     N.Y., Bill Pennington added Mets co-Owner Nelson Doubleday
     as a possible suitor.  One NFL owner said that Hess
     "indicated he was planning to make the sale of the Jets a
     priority in his will," while a friend said that Hess wanted
     the Jets to be sold "to spare his family the angst and
     disappointment he experienced" during the team's losing
     seasons.  Pennington estimated that the Jets could sell for
     "at least" $500M (N.Y. TIMES, 5/8).  NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay
     put Cablevision Chair Charles Dolan, Yankees Owner George
     Steinbrenner, Nets co-Owners Lewis Katz & Raymond Chambers
     and Mets co-Owner Fred Wilpon in the mix.  The Marquee Group
     CEO Bob Gutkowski: "The Jets are a natural for Chuck (Dolan)
     and what he's trying to do in this market."  Other potential
     buyers: MetroMedia co-Founders John Kluge and Stuart
     Subotnick and Triarc Cos' Nelson Peltz and Peter May
     (NEWSDAY, 5/8).  One NFL insider said that Jets President
     Steve Gutman will become the new Owner because Hess "put
     full power" in Gutman on the sale (N.Y. POST, 5/8).
          NO CATCH FOR THE TUNA? Jets coach Bill Parcells
     dismissed weekend rumors that he could lead a group
     interested in buying the team: "I am not part of any group,
     nor will I ever be part of any group, to buy the Jets" (N.Y.
     DAILY NEWS, 5/10).  But in N.Y., Rich Cimini wrote that
     Parcells "is in a position of power because he's the
     organization's greatest asset" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/9).  One
     league source said Parcells "has a group he can put together
     to buy the team" (N.Y. POST, 5/9).           

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