It's Not Easy Being the Boss...
The Yankees' 12-year, $486 million cable-TV contract expires in 2000. Steinbrenner is negotiating with Cablevision, the current rights holder. But he may start his own channel.
The Yankee payroll already is the second-highest in baseball at $72 million. But Steinbrenner will have to shell out a lot more money to hang on to homegrown stars like Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter.
The revenue-sharing plan baseball imposed in 1996 has cost the Yankees $15 million, more than any other club. To pay the bill, the team has boosted ticket prices by 41%.
The 1998 Bronx Bombers have set a new team attendance record yet rank eighth in tickets sold among Major League teams. Meanwhile, Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Denver, and other cities with new downtown stadiums sell out frequently.
Steinbrenner covets a new stadium in midtown Manhattan. Mayor Rudy Giuliani supports the notion, but many New Yorkers think of Yankee Stadium as hallowed ground and want the team to stay in the Bronx. A fall referendum looms.
Steinbrenner has been talking up one succession plan or another for more than a decade but still holds tightly to absolute power at age 68. Hal Steinbrenner, 29, and son-in-law Stephen Swindal, 43, dutifully work for the Yankees, but without the Boss's verve. Increasingly, it appears that the Steinbrenner Era will begin and end with George III.
Steinbrenner has rebuffed many offers for baseball's most valuable franchise. But Cablevision is likely to tempt him with the most lucrative bid yet.
Return to main story