U.S. News

Looming Divorce Throws Yankees Leadership in Doubt: CNBC

Ted Kemp
New York Yankees General Partner Steve Swindal speaks at a news conference announcing that the 2008 All Star Game will be held at Yankee Stadium in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2007. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens

News that Steve Swindal will be splitting from his wife Jennifer, daughter of New York Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner, has sparked questions about who will take over operations at one of the world's premiere sports franchises.

As reported by CNBC's Darren Rovell, Steve Swindal was heir apparent to take over for Steinbrenner, 76, until word came of Swindal's impending divorce from his wife. Swindal had been arrested for driving under the influence only a month earlier.

"If it was publicly traded, I guess we'd see the stock go down today, but the Yankees are the prime entity in the American sports scene," said Marty Appel of Appel PR. "They have capable people running it -- let's not forget (General Manager) Brian Cashman in that mix as well -- so (Steinbrenner's) got it in good hands."

NY Yankee Panky

Swindal has an ownership stake in the Yankees and is chairman of Yankees Global Enterprises, the umbrella organization that runs Yes, the Yankees' television network.

Two candidates have arisen as those most likely to inherit responsibility for the team's operations: Senior Vice President Felix Lopez, who is Steinbrenner's other son-in-law, and Hank Steinbrenner, George's son.

The total value of the New York Yankees franchise is $1 billion or more, Rovell said.