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Hess was a member of the Board of Directors of the Monmouth Park Jockey Club. By 1985, Hess had a deal for his Jets to play in the Meadowlands and New Jersey bought Monmouth Park from Hess and his fellow Jockey Club members for $45 million. The Hess-New Jersey negotiations for the football team move to New Jersey started in 1983 as did the Monmouth Park talks. The two negotiations were not linked.
At least not officially.
The state originally went after the Yankees in 1972 and thought a deal which about to be struck between Yankees owner CBS and a local New Jersey businessmen for about $13 million. New Jersey would have built a baseball park in the Meadowlands for the Yankees. In 1972, CBS Chairman William Paley told Yankees President Michael Burke to either sell the team or buy it himself. CBS could not put Yankees games on CBS' owned and operated WCBS-TV, Channel 2 in New York because of Federal Communication Commission rules. Back in 1972, that was where the real money on the team could have been made through TV advertising revenue and promotions. New Jersey officials felt that a deal to move the team to the state was imminent but Burke informed New Jersey interests that the team wasn't for sale near the end of 1972, A few days later, on January 3, 1973, Burke announced that a group led by George M. Steinbrenner III had purchased the club for $10 million (along with a $1.5 million tax credit).
The New York Yankees franchise remained in the Bronx.
New Jersey has to do something soon because of pressures from inside the state and external pressure has gambling money seeps into neighboring states. The longer politicians kick the can down the street, the harder it will be to solve New Jersey's horse racing and gambling problem.
Evan Weiner, the winner of the United States Sports Academy's 2010 Ronald Reagan Media Award, is an author, radio-TV commentator and speaker on "The Politics of Sports Business." His book, "The Business and Politics of Sports, Second Edition is available at www.bickley.com or amazonkindle. He can be reached at
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