When Bills owner Ralph Wilson died last week, it initially was suggested that a sale by the Wilson family may not happen for a while. Now comes word that it could happen this year.
According to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News, efforts to sell the team have landed on the proverbial fast track. A deal could be negotiated — and a new buyer could be approved — by the time the league’s owners gather in October.
Graham explains that it’s more likely approval would happen by December 2014 or March 2015.
Much needs to be done before such a valuable asset can change hands. The potential speed of a sale invites strong speculation that a buyer already has been identified — and that the buyer is believed to be someone at least 24 owners would be willing to welcome to a very exclusive affiliation of millionaires and billionaires.
A quick sale would make it hard for current ownership to tie the hands of a new owner by agreeing to a stadium deal that keeps the team in place for, say, 20 or 30 years. Ultimately, the question becomes whether new principal owner Mary Wilson wants to maximize her return by selling to the highest bidder, even if that bidder would soon bid adieu to Western New York.