Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 112
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.


          Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner yesterday "confirmed
     a published report" that he has had discussions with John
     Pickett about buying the Islanders, according to Jim Smith
     of NEWSDAY.  Steinbrenner's publicist Howard Rubinstein:
     "People have approached Steinbrenner about purchasing the
     Islanders but George does not want to discuss specifics." 
     But Smith reports that NHL sources "scoffed" at the report,
     saying Steinbrenner is attempting to "get headlines" from a
     phone inquiry made about 10 days ago.  One NHL source: "I
     don't think there's much to it.  I wouldn't go crazy about
     it." Pickett could not be reached for comment (NEWSDAY,
     8/27).  In N.Y., Marc Berman reports one source said that
     Steinbrenner "is not willing to come close to matching" the
     $165M purchase price John Spano and Pickett agreed upon. 
     The source: "Spano's price doesn't set the market price
     because Spano would've promised anything" (N.Y. POST, 8/27).
          CAVEATS: Cablevision Chair Charles Dolan said that any
     Isles deal would have to include its long-term SportsChannel
     contract, valued at $85M.  Dolan said that the SportsChannel
     deal negotiated with Spano "is still binding."  But he
     added, "It would be marvelous to have George in hockey" (Joe
     Lapointe, N.Y. TIMES, 8/27).  But Marc Berman writes that
     status of the SportsChannel deal "is still undetermined"
     (N.Y. POST, 8/27).  MSG President Dave Checketts, on
     Steinbrenner: "It would help firm up the [Rangers-Islanders]
     rivalry, unlike some of the other names I've heard.  He
     knows how to run a sports team" (N.Y. POST, 8/27).  
          OTHERS IN THE MIX: A member of a group led by Marquee
     Group CEO Bob Gutkowski, speaking on the condition of
     anonymity: "We've had some good discussions with (Pickett).
     ... We have to decide if we're going to go forward on our
     own or with others.  If we decide to go forward, we'll pull
     it off.  The money is there."  NEWSDAY's Jim Smith reports
     that Robert F.X. Sillerman is no longer in contention for
     the Islanders.  Sillerman's spokesperson Tim Klahs: "I don't
     think it is very likely for us to be there.  There are
     certain powerful motivators that would disincline us from
     going forward."  Klahs, asked if he meant the $200M asking
     price: "That's getting pretty high" (NEWSDAY, 8/27).