Steinbrenner OK after falling ill at granddaughter's play

Updated: November 1, 2006, 11:25 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner fell ill while attending his granddaughter's performance of "Cabaret" on Sunday at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., but is fine Tuesday in Tampa, Fla., according to his spokesman.

At intermission, a call was made to paramedics by an audience member who noticed Steinbrenner wasn't feeling well. Steinbrenner was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated and released Monday.

The story was first reported in Tuesday's edition of the Daily Tar Heel, the school newspaper, and confirmed for ESPN by Howard Rubenstein, Steinbrenner's personal spokesman.

"George Steinbrenner is well and raising hell today," Rubenstein said in a statement released Tuesday.

Rubenstein told ESPN that doctors found nothing medically wrong with Steinbrenner, and he was released and flew back to his home in Tampa on Monday, where he worked Monday afternoon and is in the office Tuesday feeling well.

Rubenstein told ESPN the theater was not air conditioned and high temperatures may be responsible for Steinbrenner's distress.

"George felt ill during the performance, which was held in a Revolutionary War auditorium with no air conditioning and the windows closed tight -- it was very hot," Rubenstein said. "An ambulance was called, and it took George to the hospital where he was examined head to toe. George stayed overnight in the hospital and was released on Monday morning, at which time he flew home."

According to the Daily Tar Heel, the Sunday afternoon performance was cut short when Department of Public Safety officials responded to a call that a man (Steinbrenner) was suffering from chest pains, DPS spokesman Randy Young said.

Sophomore Emily Riehl, who was in the audience, told the newspaper that the man was Steinbrenner. Steinbrenner was in attendance to watch his granddaughter, Haley Swindal, a junior at the school, perform the lead role of Sally Bowles.

Young said the man (Steinbrenner) was "conscious, alert and breathing" when officials arrived at Playmakers Theatre between 3:30 and 3:41 p.m. ET.

"I've spoken to George several times on Monday and [Tuesday], and he is OK," Rubenstein said in the statement. "He's dived back into planning next season and is quite feisty."