ICE, ICE, MAYBE? STEINBRENNER INQUIRES ABOUT ISLANDERS
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).