Boston Bruins owner could buy Bills, keep them in Buffalo

AP

Bills fans who want the team to stay in Buffalo got some good news with a report that billionaire Jeremy Jacobs, who has previously said the Bills should stay in Buffalo, has emerged as a strong candidate to buy the team from the estate of Ralph Wilson.

Jacobs, the owner of the Boston Bruins and CEO of Delaware North Companies, has a net worth estimated by Forbes at over $3 billion. Jacobs was born and raised in Buffalo, and Delaware North is headquartered in Buffalo, and the Buffalo News reports that Jacobs and his family head the list of potential local buyers for the Bills.

The fact that Jacobs owns the Bruins could complicate things, as the NFL does not allow owners to own franchises in other leagues unless those franchises are in the same market as the owner’s NFL team. But there are ways around that rule: When Stan Kroenke bought a controlling interest in the St. Louis Rams, he transferred his controlling interest in the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche to his son. The same could happen within the Jacobs family; Jeremy Jacobs Sr. could own the Bills while Jeremy Jacobs Jr. owns the Bruins, or vice versa.

Jacobs Jr. said in a 2012 interview that his family would “do what we can to ensure that the Bills stay in this town.” That’s music to the ears of Buffalo fans.

68 responses to “Boston Bruins owner could buy Bills, keep them in Buffalo

  1. I hope Mr. Jacobs does buy the Bills and keep them in Buffalo. The NFL would take a step backwards if they left town.

  2. If he wants to keep the Bills in Buffalo, bend the rules.

    I’m not even a Bills fan but If I was a billionaire, I would buy the Bills and keep them in Buffalo.

  3. This would be great. My father is a lifelong Bills fan living in Syracuse, and it would crush him to lose his favorite team.

    Sure, Buffalo doesn’t have the corporate sponsorship that most NFL teams need, but they have a great fanbase. I would like to see them stay in Buffalo.

  4. This is bad news for Bruins fans. Money generated from the TD Garden, NESN, and the Boston Bruins should not be stiffened to help the fledgling Bills.

    If they want to own the Bills, fine. Sell the Bruins, the TD Garden, and the 20% of NESN that the Bruins owns. Jacob is not beloved in Boston, in fact before 2011 he was down right hated.

  5. Great news Bills fans!!!

    Be prepared for ticket prices to skyrocket and the stadium food to turn to garbage. (with the corresponding increase in prices as well…)

  6. Buffalo is a great city and deserves to keep Bills. Jacobs ownership of Bruins has evolved to the point I view him as good owner. This from a long time bruins season ticketholder who didn’t always feel he put winning at the forefront. Good luck Buffalo

  7. I’m surprised Howard Milstein hasn’t been discussed as a possible buyer. He owns half of Niagara Falls and Jim Kelly’s ex-agent runs the development there for him. He owns enough property there to build a stadium/Niagara Falls entertainment plex. Milstein also put a bid in on the Redskins back in the day… He’s worth north of 4 billion…

  8. Charlie would take over the Bruins, not Jerry (“Jeremy Jr.” here).

    Bills fans should welcome this news. Yes: Jeremy Jacobs is a stubborn, out-of-touch, nasty old miser whose thrifty tendencies robbed the Bruins and their fans of years of contention and squanders the prime years of two Hall of Famers. But in recent years he’s been much more hands-off. His wealth has skyrocketed thanks to some lucrative holdings in NESN and high-value European soccer concessions contracts, so he’s been content to “just write the checks” more and more. The Bruins have been a cap team since the lockout and are actually spending over the cap most years thanks to some crafty back-diving contracts. He’s taken a page out of the Red Sox management book: the only way to make big money is to win, the only way to win is to invest.

  9. This is a horrid idea, Jacobs is a terrible owner. The people of Buffalo deserve much better, hopefully they will find someone else who will keep the Bills in town.

    Don’t jump for joy at the first guy willing to keep the team in Buffalo.

    You do not want Jacobs, I promise you

  10. And just to clarify:

    A) Of course I want the Bills to stay in Buffalo.

    B) No, selling the Bruins within the “family” would not be enough.

    C) As a Bruins fan, I am not buying sweaters and tickets and concessions for that money to then be used to help a rival cities team. Why can’t they just own the Sabers then if they are so intrenched in Western NY.

  11. Without a new stadium it is probable that they will be moved whomever the owner is. From a buisiness standpoint, moving the franchise to LA would increase the value of the team immediately. They should take the Green Bay model and see how they could adopt and adapt that strategy if the fans want a chance.

  12. The Jacob family would be great to buy the Bills. They are a strong, sucessful WNY family. Anything they buy, seems to make a lot of money. The Bills will make a lot of money for whoever buys them. #billsmafia

  13. Appreciate the support from opposing fans for keeping the bills in Buffalo (maybe cut we’ve been the doormat of the league for 14 yrs)..

    Regarding Boston fans saying we don’t want Jacobs as an owner..I would say 100% of Buffalo would take a stubborn hands-on owner (as we did with Ralph Wilson for many yrs) than no team at all.

  14. As pointed out above, Jeremy Jacobs was not a popular owner in Boston as most Bruins fans wanted him to sell the team. As of late, he has let the Bruins braintrust run the team while he lives his life in Florida.

    It would be great for Bills fans to have the team bought by a fellow Buffalo native as they not only have suffered over a decade of losing seasons without playoffs while still living in Buffalo, NY.

  15. Why can’t Buffalo pull a Green Bay and own the team themselves? It might be a high price tag up front but with the some $300 million* a year owners take in, it would eventually pay for itself.

    **before last CBA and latest TV and sponsorships deals.

  16. For those of you who think the Bruins would be somehow funding the Bills in any way if both ended up in the Jacobs family, it is ridiculous. They would be 2 separate financial entities. And even if they did pool funds, the Bills generate about 250m per year, and the Bruins about 120m, so I think it would be the other way around.

  17. For anyone thinking that the Bruins pull in more money than the Bills, and therefore will be supporting the Buffalo team, you certainly need to get your facts straight. According to Forbes, the Bills pull in $256 million in revenue, while the Bruins pull in $114 million. Stop being so ignorant people.

  18. @buffalomook

    This is now, we’re not talking about some point in the future. We’re talking about that $875 or so Million the Bills are worth before bids are taken, no matter how much of a % has to be put down. That’s only half of it, not to forget the repulsion of being corporate cousins with you.

  19. What do you Bills fans not get? All the pro leagues are filthy rich. It’s the sports incest that Boston fans find unfathomable.

    All the trophies were together last week when the Red Sox had their home opener. 7 in total because Lord Stanley sits with another city currently. The Commonwealth is incapable of tolerating a home team having an actual on field competitive interest versus a cross sport home team.

    All of you Bills fans preaching about ignorance and money need to awaken to the reality that the capability to generate money is your cause of erosion. And it is money which draws that magnetism to LA or Toronto, because of how much and how fast those destinations can generate it. Not just for a team but for the league.

  20. If the Bills were to leave NY, there would be no NFL team s playing in NY State. LA doesn’t make sense seeing as how the Raiders and Rams both failed there. Buffalo seats 80,000 and is sold out majority of the time, and that’s with a losing record.

  21. Every year, the Bills will trade the Pats their first round pick for peanuts. Maybe the Bruins owner should buy the Broncos and Seahawks too?

  22. “I hope Mr. Jacobs does buy the Bills and keep them in Buffalo. The NFL would take a step backwards if they left town.”

    Why? The NFL would benefit greatly if the team were moved to a real city.

  23. Do any of you Boston fans realize the Buffalo is Jeremy Jacobs hometown. If anything, this is good news for the Sabres

  24. As for LA, it’s been 19 years and counting. I’ve heard since I was in HS how LA was going to be getting a team and still no team. NFL even tried to give them an expansion team and when LA could not get their act together it went to Houston. One day soon maybe LA gets a team but I would not start losing sleep over it.

  25. As a Bostonian myself, I see how these know-it-all Boston fans are indeed showing they know very little when it comes to sports.

    Jeremy Jacobs used to be a hated man. Not anymore. Why? Is it because he’s spending money now? Yes. But why? Because the NHL owners were right to implement a salary cap. Not spending a boatload to compete, but spending wisely. Want a reason the Bruins were mediocre for so long? It was management.

    Jeremy Jacobs would be a great owner for Buffalo because the NFL is profitable and he will spend money to make it. I think the NFL should somehow adjust the rules, especially for such a historied franchise as the Bills…

  26. Don’t worry, he can own the Bills all day and it wouldnt mess with the market share of the pats even if he tried to package tickets for the bills with the Bruins.

    You might find people who go “I dont really like Baseball” (myself included), and you might find people who dont really get basketball. Here in Boston though, EVERYONE loves the Patriots and even people who don’t like football learn have to fake it to fit in.

  27. So when the team goes to LA do they keep the name or does it stay with the city which in turn, would allow them to rename the Jaguars when move to Buffalo?

  28. A lot of commenters keep mentioning the Rams and Raiders “failing in Los Angeles”. They left town because the public wouldn’t finance new stadiums for them. So if the Bills were to be moved would you people say they “failed” in Buffalo? Did the original Browns “fail”in Cleveland? Did the Colts “fail” in Baltimore?

  29. Is someone from LA really going to buy a team only to have wait for six years to move it? That when the Rams, Raiders, or Chargers could already be there by then. Plus they would have to get 24 votes to move it plus a big relocation fee. That’s a tall order

  30. 4 straight Super Bowl losses?
    We here in Cleveland are begging just to get a taste of that.
    Prayers for Jim Kelley too.
    One of the last of the tough guy QB’s.

  31. Rams are going to L.A as the NFC representative.

    The Jaguars and Bills will not be going to L.A. as the AFC representative.

    If you remember Jaguars owner Khan wanted to buy an NFL (The Rams) in St. Louis because he has ties to the area.

    When the Rams move back to L.A., Khan will probably take the Jaguars to St Louis, the NFL still considers St Louis a valuable market.

    As far as the Bills coming to L.A.

    The L.A. card will be played in order to get the Bills a new venue in Buffalo, but that’s it.

    The Buffalo Bills are not coveted, especially in Southern California. Even Toronto does not want this team full time.

    The Raiders would be highly coveted to come back to L.A. as the AFC rep.

    The San Diego Chargers will not be moving up North as a new venue will be built in the Down Town area of SD.

    Bills fans have nothing to worry about as no city wants this franchise with a loser legacy. Losing 4 Super Bowls in a row will actually keep the Bills in Buffalo.

  32. Its great news for Bills fans that a sale could potentially be done by October this year. Any new owner will face a difficult if not impossible task of moving the team in the next 6 years. The lease the Bills have with the county is a major obstacle for a move. Also the respect that Ralph Wilson has amongst NFL owners is so great that owners may balk at approving a sale that would move Ralphs beloved Bills out of Buffalo.

  33. Not a Bills fan but I know they have a really die-hard fan base that loves the team and it’s a big part of the town’s identity. It’d be a shame to see them relocate.

  34. Congrats Buffalo, you’ll have a winner owner with Buffalo Roots.

    As a Maashole, I would be remiss to lose him as owner of my beloved Bruins!

  35. What’s with all the New England sports fans warning us about a potential new owner? I think WNY is pretty familiar with the Jacobs family.

  36. still the question of the stadium must be decided. as much as i hope the bills stay put i just can not see the owners allowing it to happen without a new stadium. i think they would be willing to deal with lack of revenue from a small market as long as they can make up some of that lost cash with a new facility. i hope i am wrong but the local politicians are not very bold when the new stadium issue is talked about publicly.

  37. They have already formed the stadium committee with all the heavy hitters including senator Schumer. It wouldn’t make much sense rehabbing the Ralph. It should never have been built way out there to begin with. Back in the.city makes the most sense. I mean Delaware North is already building a new headquarters on Delaware and Chippewa.

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