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Bills have buy-and-move candidates for ownership

LA AP

Even before word emerged that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer intends to buy the L.A. Clippers for $2 billion, interest had been expressed by potential buyers of the Bills who would acquire the asset with the intent of relocating.

“Truthfully, there are parties that are interested in buying the team and moving it,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz told WGR 550 on Thursday, via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. “We are trying to do what we can on our part to show that this community is moving forward to at least explore everything and all the options that are necessary, in the case the situation comes that we have a new owner that says, ‘I own the Bills. I’m fine with Ralph Wilson Stadium for the next five or six years, but I want out and I want to be somewhere different then.'”

That could be the clearest acknowledgement yet that the current lease for the Bills to play at the stadium named for the team’s late owner buys only time.  Specifically, the lease provides a minimum of six seasons (when a limited window opens to bolt) and a maximum of nine seasons (when the lease expires).

Ballmer’s bid for the Clippers could be the clearest reminder that, if the family of Ralph Wilson chooses to sell to the highest bidder, the highest bid may have gotten a lot higher.  And if the Wilson family opts to maximize the return without regard for whether the Bills may leave and never return, a bid that reflects the team’s value not in Buffalo but in Los Angeles could be the easy winner.

“I’ve spoken to [Bills CEO Russ] Brandon, I’ve spoken to [Bills CFO Jeffrey Littmann],” Poloncarz separately told WBEN in Buffalo.  “They know my request, which is to pick the owner that’s going to keep the team in Buffalo. But I don’t know if that’s going to be the decision that the trustees will end up doing.  If they end up getting a bid that’s so much higher than anybody else, I don’t know if they can turn it down.  They may have the fiduciary duty to accept it.”

And there it is.  The specific recognition that has long been suspected to be true.  If the mandate for the “trustees” (a vague group of no-names who give plausible deniability to current owner Mary Wilson) is to find the highest bidder, it won’t matter if that bidder wants to move the team.

So is that the standard?

“That’s a good question,” Russ Brandon recently told WGR 550, via Rodak.  “I’m not at liberty to talk about those things. I can’t talk about that.”

Which brings us back to Ballmer’s $2 billion.  If the NBA’s B-team in the L.A. market has that value, how much value would an NFL team in Los Angeles instantly acquire?

“We were expecting the Bills would sell somewhere in the vicinity of $800 million to potentially a billion dollars. Maybe it will go higher now,” Poloncarz told WBEN on Friday, via Rodak. “I don’t think it will go for $2 billion because this is not the Los Angeles media market, but it certainly could go above a billion dollars if this precedent in regards to recent NBA sales is any indication.  We’ll just have to keep an eye on it.”

It may not go for $2 billion in Buffalo, but it could go for $2 billion or more if the buyer is intent on dog-paddling through six seasons in Buffalo before moving to the Los Angeles media market.

While the other 31 owners would want a hefty relocation fee if they approve the purchase and eventual move (there’s a chance that, for political reasons, they won’t), an owner who believes that the Bills would be worth $3 billion or $4 billion in L.A. could be willing to outbid the other potential buyers and then further line the pockets of the 31 partners for the privilege of ultimately buying low, if the Clippers are indeed worth $2 billion.

Then again, any asset ultimately is worth what someone will pay for it.  And it would be a surprise if someone with an eye on the L.A. market isn’t willing to pay at least as much as Ballmer is paying for the Clippers in order to buy the Bills.

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101 Responses to “Bills have buy-and-move candidates for ownership”
  1. allhailkingflacco says: Jun 2, 2014 7:10 AM

    “fiduciary duty”…. how fitting is that ?

  2. ssraebel says: Jun 2, 2014 7:14 AM

    Clippers are already in LA and the NBA does not split profits like the NFL. The LA market for the NFL has a lot of hurdles and that is why there is not a team there already – the other owners will split the local revenue. Snyder and Jones tried to challenge that a few years ago and were shot down. So the owner that contemplates moving has to factor in the price of building a stadium without public help and then can’t reap the benefits of the local tv money to pay back the debt to build the stadium.

  3. tvjules says: Jun 2, 2014 7:16 AM

    Sorry, Buffalo fans.
    Five letters G-R-E-E-D.

  4. denverdude7 says: Jun 2, 2014 7:16 AM

    Bottom Line: It’s bye-bye time for the Bills in Buffalo.

    Sad, but I really don’t see it going any other way.

  5. SparkyGump says: Jun 2, 2014 7:17 AM

    Way too plausible for comfort.

  6. billh1947 says: Jun 2, 2014 7:17 AM

    If the NFL was that popular in LA then the Rams would still be there and be worth a whole lot more nowadays than back then.

  7. umainebearman says: Jun 2, 2014 7:26 AM

    I would think, hypothetically, if the Bills franchise moved to LA they would have to do some kind of division re-alignment right? The couldn’t be considered and “east” team anymore. Where would the league put them and who would take there place?

  8. kissmytaintpatriotsrule says: Jun 2, 2014 7:26 AM

    We get it the Clippers sold for 2 billion dollars… As a Patriots fan I would hate to see the Bills leave. It’s actually cheaper to drive to Buffalo and watch the Patriots play. The only true New York team. Jets an Giants play their games in New Jersey go figure.

  9. leftyman says: Jun 2, 2014 7:26 AM

    If ifs and buts were candies and nuts then everyone would be an NFL owner….The Bills arent going anywhere.

  10. nationalmediacansuckit says: Jun 2, 2014 7:32 AM

    But, but, but the Jags are moving to LA.

    But, but, but Khan is going to move Jags to St Louis when Rams move to LA

    But, but but the Jaguars are the ONLY team in the history of the NFL to have blacked out games back on 2009, while other teams have since then like Bengals, Chargers, Dolphins, Rams, Raiders, Cardinal, Bills, Lions, Vikings, Bucs, Panthers. That doesn’t matter though the Jaguars are still to ONLY team to have had a blackout.

    But, but, but, the Jaguars were a 4-12 atrocious team last year and still avg just under 60k fans per game so the have no fans and belong in LA

    But, but, but the Bills to LA storyline hasn’t s been pushed down everyone’s throats for 5 years

    But, but , but they have tarps that bring the huge stadium from 77k to 67k capacity just like every other stadium Jax market so another reason they belong in LA

    But but but, who wants to live by the ocean and swim in pools, BBQ, golf, fish and party in shorts year round. Jax is a horrible city.

    But, but, but………………….

  11. GenXJay says: Jun 2, 2014 7:38 AM

    the bigger question is why does anyone think there is an NFL market in LA?
    That place couldn’t hold on to the Rams or Raiders.
    The entire state of California is normally in default red ink.

  12. flmike says: Jun 2, 2014 7:38 AM

    Don’t be shocked if a European based group makes a bid as well….

  13. mikeyfins says: Jun 2, 2014 7:38 AM

    Bye-Bye BUFFALO!

  14. mikeyfins says: Jun 2, 2014 7:39 AM

    IF Buffalo moved to LA….the NFL realignment is very simple. Buffalo/LA to the AFC West. KC to the AFC South. Indy back to the AFC East.

  15. evrybdyhas1 says: Jun 2, 2014 7:40 AM

    Not getting the highest price would be charity to the community without benefit to the seller.

  16. ddarlak says: Jun 2, 2014 7:44 AM

    Bills are staying in Buffalo, period.

  17. jpaq68 says: Jun 2, 2014 7:49 AM

    umainebearman says:
    Jun 2, 2014 7:26 AM
    I would think, hypothetically, if the Bills franchise moved to LA they would have to do some kind of division re-alignment right? The couldn’t be considered and “east” team anymore. Where would the league put them and who would take there place?

    I sure hope Bills fans aren’t putting all their eggs in this one basket.

  18. george1859 says: Jun 2, 2014 7:52 AM

    The opera ain’t over till the fat lady sings.
    It’s all up to Mary Wilson.

  19. upstaterules says: Jun 2, 2014 7:57 AM

    The NFL owners probably won’t support a move. Having a powerful US Senator from NYS ready to investigate Anti-trust laws would be a deterent. Expansion makes the owners more money. The NFL likes to maintain a good image. Moving a team from Buffalo would be a huge black eye and will be the beginning of the end.

    I don’t think the Wilson family will entertain a bidding require moving the team.

    Also, a potential new owner, who would move the team, will be playing in front of an empty stadium for 6yrs.

  20. whatjusthapped says: Jun 2, 2014 8:01 AM

    To peg its value to the Clippers sale is just plain foolish. The Clippers are going for $2 billion for a host of reasons that don’t apply to the Bills sale and the PR nightmare of Sterling comes with a price tag.

    I know the NFL owners would love to see a high price but economics and ROI will have to come into the picture and when it does, its nowhere near $2 billion.

  21. thegrey7 says: Jun 2, 2014 8:05 AM

    Ralph Wilson should have put in his will that the team goes to someone willing to keep it in Buffalo.

  22. qdog112 says: Jun 2, 2014 8:08 AM

    Hold up folks. LA will get a team. There is NOWAY that entrepreneurs who just saw the Clippers deal are gonna let this chance pass.

    Be it the Bills, Chargers or Jags, some team is loading up the Mayflowers already. Yes, football left before because there is competition for the entertainment $, but this is a different world now. The NFL is a TV EVENT and filling the seats is just gravy. They can broadcast in an empty stadium and still make millions.

    For that market, $4 billion is in the ball park. Book it. It’s gonna happen.

  23. jkffootballguy says: Jun 2, 2014 8:13 AM

    If the Bills move to LA, it would be possible that they join the AFC West and then Kansas City could join the South, and Indianapolis returns to the East; where they played before 2002 realignment.

    It would be interesting to see how the league would realign the teams to make it work.

  24. hehateme2 says: Jun 2, 2014 8:15 AM

    But…but, we NEED the Bills to stay in the AFC East. I mean, who is going to be the doormat without them?

    j.e.t.s.

  25. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Jun 2, 2014 8:16 AM

    Moving the Bills to L.A. would make for an interesting division re-alignment… unless the league was willing to leave the new West Coast team in the AFC “East”

  26. loubearkane says: Jun 2, 2014 8:16 AM

    Mary Wilson needs to make it clear , if you don’t add into the contract Will Not Relocate then the starting bid needs to be $3.5 Billion.
    If you add in Will Not relocate then no reserve on the bid.

    Show Ralph Wilson some respect and keep the team in Buffalo

  27. iloveagoodnap says: Jun 2, 2014 8:19 AM

    Once again, this is not something we haven’t already long known. This is just someone publicly saying what everyone has long known.

    People need to step up locally, Wilson’s trust needs to show some sort of care towards the area. Simple as that.

  28. losingisnotanoption says: Jun 2, 2014 8:23 AM

    If the Bills do move across the country, it’ll require realignment so that the AFC teams don’t have to travel to the west coast for an inter-division game.

    If realignment isn’t proposed to avoid the lengthy travel, then I could see at least three teams nixing the deal until it gets fixed.

  29. thegregwitul says: Jun 2, 2014 8:23 AM

    The Bills aren’t selling for four billion dollars, stop it. Understand that while the NFL is far and away the number one sport in America, the NBA has a larger global following, second only to European football / soccer. With upcoming TV deals set to be renewed, and a list of marketable stars that actually stay out of trouble off the court, the NBA is by no means struggling.

    The Bills will sell for 1.5 billion, maybe 2 billion, but absolutely not 4 billion dollars. Not happening, at least not for the next handful of years will we see a 4 billion dollar team.

  30. broncosbrowns says: Jun 2, 2014 8:31 AM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills ended up in Toronto. The market’s population is around 6 million, the stadium is in place, and it is still a three hour drive (not counting customs clearance time and traffic) from Buffalo.

  31. beachsidejames says: Jun 2, 2014 8:35 AM

    These types of buy/moves are not good for the league. Its a clear message that says as a league we don’t care about you the the fan that has supported us all these years.

  32. losangelesbillsofbuffalo says: Jun 2, 2014 8:37 AM

    I am a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan, and I’m praying to my God and to others’ that they stay in Buffalo, and will personally be done with the NFL if they move. But all these comments about how LA can’t support an NFL team because it hasn’t worked in the past aren’t quite correct. When Oakland and St. Louis did their respective back and forth, it was a different time where ticket sales ruled the day. Today, with the shared revenue the way it is, and with TV contracts skyrocketing since the 1990’s, LA wouldn’t necessarily need a diehard fanbase to be worth many billions of dollars. In my opinion the move should destroy the morale of all fans – because it would be blatant proof that the NFL is no longer about it’s fans or it’s cities (which is the backbone of what the league’s current unlimited value has been built upon), and instead it would be about maximizing PROFITS. It will trigger the end of the NFL as we know it, and possibly the end of the NFL as a whole, if we as fans live by our morals and dignity.

    Funny sidenote – the first thing I was taught at business school was that decisions must be made in regards to maximizing long-term VALUE, NOT short-term PROFIT.

  33. goooooobrowns says: Jun 2, 2014 8:40 AM

    As a Browns fan this just gives me such heart pangs. I’ve always felt a little kinship with the Buffalos and the Detroits of the league. The idea of our brothers in rust loosing out to the vapid money bags on the coasts just breaks my heart. If it happens, do what we did, sue the CRAP out of the NFL and make them promise to give you a new team. Though, in our case it’s been, umm, a rather mixed blessing.

  34. alshonbrandontandem says: Jun 2, 2014 8:41 AM

    Stay in Buffalo. Move the lowly Jags to LA

  35. Please Ban TheStrategyExpert From Posting says: Jun 2, 2014 8:44 AM

    Does anyone else notice that when news breaks about the facts indicating potential for the Bills to stay, the article is always 3 paragraphs, but when its about them moving, the article is always quite lengthy? Moreover the lengthy article is always peppered with arguments and persuasions, meanwhile the others have no such persuasive arguments?

    Here are 2 facts: this isn’t anything we didn’t already know, and, nobody knows anything.

  36. scoonie97 says: Jun 2, 2014 8:44 AM

    Owners like Jerry Jones & Daniel Snyder used to be all about revenue sharing to keep teams like the Bills in Buffalo.

    Owners like Jerry Jones & Daniel Snyder got railroaded into bogus salary cap penalties by the other owners.

    Welcome to payback Buffalo…

  37. dd2929 says: Jun 2, 2014 8:45 AM

    Here are the reasons why the Bills won’t move to LA:

    1) Money. No way you will make any return if the Bills cost over a billion, you pay a billion for a new stadium, you pay Erie County to get out of the lease, AND the NFL relocation fee. Factor in revenue sharing and the concussion lawsuits and I don’t see how the Bills or any LA team is worth anywhere north of 3 billion.

    2) That fee is going to be very hefty because the owners in CA don’t want a team in LA and Roger Goodell was born in Buffalo and doesn’t want the team to move.

    3)Charles Schumer and Andrew Cuomo will use all their political graft to keep New York’s only team. They can and will go after the NFL’s anti-trust exemption.

    4)Nobody knows what’s written in Ralph’s will. It may very well say “Sell to __ if they pay enough” or “Sell to anyone who keeps the team in Buffalo.”

  38. alonestartexan says: Jun 2, 2014 8:47 AM

    The NFL wasn’t as popular in the early 90’s as it is today. The Rams/Raiders still combined to have over 90,000 fans for their home games.

    One team in LA would do VERY well.

  39. jm91rs says: Jun 2, 2014 8:47 AM

    Buy the Bills for $2 Billion, move them in 6 years to LA. Leave the Bills name behind and expand the NFL by adding a new Bills team back to Buffalo and a 2nd team somewhere else. The team in Buffalo would inherit the “history” and records of the previous Bills team. This way the NFL doesn’t look greedy by creating new teams, they look like saviors for giving Buffalo a team again. The NFL is a gold mine right now, if someone would pay a billion per expansion team I think the NFL owners would seriously consider it. That’s $30M+ per owner, plus a massively expanded pool of income for players. Owners want to expand the season to 18 games, they can get the extra games by adding 2 teams instead of 2 weeks to the season. Problem solved and everyone gets rich and 2 new markets get teams.

  40. hendawg21 says: Jun 2, 2014 8:49 AM

    So if you allow someone to buy and move the team that’s just the start, as there would again have to be realignment…I mean you surely couldn’t keep the so called Los Angeles Bills in the AFC East? The second issue do you really think the Bills in an L.A. market would get better fan support than they get in Buffalo? It’s clear to see it’s not about the fans, it’s about the all mighty dollar!

  41. alonestartexan says: Jun 2, 2014 8:49 AM

    Oh, and who says it’s LA? They could be looking at Portland, Oklahoma City, or San Antonio too..

  42. dycenyne says: Jun 2, 2014 8:49 AM

    Terrible. LA has the second worst sports fans behind Miami. Buffalo fans are dedicated and good sports fans. LA had two franchises and they both left. That says alot about there fans. Take Jacksonville nobody cares about football there, just look at their attendance.

  43. keepyerstickontheice says: Jun 2, 2014 8:54 AM

    “That’s a real nice antitrust exemption you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to it.”

  44. pftfan says: Jun 2, 2014 9:03 AM

    But I thought Buffalo was the REAL New York team?!

    How come the Bills are being forced to relocate but not the Jets or Giants?

    I need a Bills fan to explain this to me!

  45. coachbeck says: Jun 2, 2014 9:05 AM

    Will it be LA or London lol

  46. pftfan says: Jun 2, 2014 9:10 AM

    kissmytaintpatriotsrule says: Jun 2, 2014 7:26 AM

    The only true New York team. Jets an Giants play their games in New Jersey go figure.

    ———————–

    It wouldn’t take a genius to realize that MetLife is 11 miles away from Manhattan and Buffalo is 419 miles away.

    Gee, I wonder where the 8 million NYC residents are going to go? No wait, you’re right. I think they should drive 11 hours to the Canadian border to go cheer on the Bills.

  47. 407magic says: Jun 2, 2014 9:18 AM

    An nfl team WILL NOT WORK IN LA. It’s failed twice already. Why waste time and try again.

    Does anybody know who the next largest market behind LA without an NFL team is??? ORLANDO area biatch! Idk if the nfl would want 4 teams in Florida but why not? If the jags won’t move down then somebody wealthy from central Florida needs step up. Tiger woods? David Siegel? The devos family?

  48. tvguy22 says: Jun 2, 2014 9:23 AM

    whatjusthapped says: Jun 2, 2014 8:01 AM

    To peg its value to the Clippers sale is just plain foolish. The Clippers are going for $2 billion for a host of reasons that don’t apply to the Bills sale and the PR nightmare of Sterling comes with a price tag.

    I know the NFL owners would love to see a high price but economics and ROI will have to come into the picture and when it does, its nowhere near $2 billion.
    ———————————–

    Foolish yes, but it was also easy.

  49. richie078 says: Jun 2, 2014 9:23 AM

    “But I don’t know if that’s going to be the decision that the trustees will end up doing.”

    Well then why are they called “trustees” if you cannot trust them?

  50. qdog112 says: Jun 2, 2014 9:28 AM

    Ever heard of capitalism? The free market will decide, if and when LA gets a team and the value of that team.

    An existing may not sell for $4 billion, but the franchise that lands there, instantly will be worth between $3-4 billion by just being in that market. You don’t need a business degree to understand that.

    As pointed out in the piece, pro sports owners recognize that. The price paid for the Clippers has “floated all boats”. Every pro team’s value has just been boosted several percentage points. Any potential move will not be based on emotions or fan loyalty.

    The NFL future is driven by one thing and that is profit. The Clippers sale inflates the value for an LA football team, which in turn inflates the value for all NFL teams. So you think the current owners aren’t gonna jump at the chance to make more money? Yeah, OK then.

  51. onlysane1intheroom says: Jun 2, 2014 9:35 AM

    It wouldn’t take a genius to realize that MetLife is 11 miles away from Manhattan and Buffalo is 419 miles away.

    ___________________________

    And it doesn’t take a genius to realize that MetLife is in New Jersey. His original statement is true.

  52. bie2344 says: Jun 2, 2014 9:36 AM

    The Clippers sale is/was such an abboration. A really, really rich guy that really, really wanted to buy a NBA team (and I still feel he wants to move them to Seattle), a team with zero debt to take on, and happens to be really good right now. Oh and they’re about to negiotate a new TV deal for tons of money. This isnt going to be the norm, as much as other sports owners might want it to be. The Bills will get a high price, but with some billionaires like Tom Gollisano looking to buy the Bills and keep them local, I dont see them moving, at least I hope not.

  53. stillabillsfan says: Jun 2, 2014 9:38 AM

    Sucks.

    Should be a fun six years though. Team’s young and has speed everywhere.

  54. cuzco55 says: Jun 2, 2014 9:47 AM

    So if they sell to the highest bidder and move to LA would the team become the LA Bill$?

  55. jpaq68 says: Jun 2, 2014 9:51 AM

    dycenyne says:
    Jun 2, 2014 8:49 AM
    Terrible. LA has the second worst sports fans behind Miami. Buffalo fans are dedicated and good sports fans. LA had two franchises and they both left. That says alot about there fans. Take Jacksonville nobody cares about football there, just look at their attendance.
    ————————————–
    Buffalo has good sports fans? You ever try to have a rational conversation with one of them? Losing four Super Bowls in a row has done permanent damage to their psyches.

    Jacksonville has the worst attendance? The Jags outdrew many other teams last year, including the Steelers and ticket sales for this year are already ahead of last years numbers..

    Get your facts straight, you moron.

  56. thelastpieceofcheese says: Jun 2, 2014 9:58 AM

    The antitrust exemption is that the NFL is a legal monopoly, just like utility companies. It will not impede teams from moving.

    At the end of the day money talks, bills are gone!

  57. djshnooks says: Jun 2, 2014 10:05 AM

    The other thing your thick skull repeatedly fails to realize, like the idiot you are…

    Between Tom Golisano, Danny Wegman and Terry Pegula…there is more money than anyone else could ever come up with. They could have bought the Clippers and moved them back to Buffalo without a single problem, if they really wanted to.

    I hope you’re hatred for Ralph Wilson, the Bills and the city of Buffalo, curses you.

  58. bie2344 says: Jun 2, 2014 10:06 AM

    I’m a Buffalo sports fan, I think I can handle a rational convo just fine, thanks. And the fact that you think people get way too fired up when you talk about the Bills, kinda speaks to how passionate, whether good or bad, they are about their team.

    Attendance is hard to really use as a barometer for what team really has “good fans”. Alot of teams will buy out tickets to make it seems like their attendance is high. Jacksonville has that infamous tarp, so their percentage of attendance looks high, even though they’re covering tons of seats.

    At the end of the day, I agree with the original poster in that LA and Miami fans aren’t great, but I get it. If you live in Miami or LA you have so many other options for things to do, people there are just natually apathetic to sports.

  59. shackdelrio says: Jun 2, 2014 10:14 AM

    As a fan of a fellow smaller market team, I hope Buffalo can get a new owner committed to upstate NY. Someone willing the keep the team there. But they have to get a new stadium built and that will not be easy.

    It’s a shame that Ralph Wilson did not do a better job securing a new owner while he was living.

  60. pftaddict says: Jun 2, 2014 10:17 AM

    The Bills are not going anywhere. The more likely scenario is an expansion team In LA and one in London. The fees for expansion teams probably would be more than a relocation fee. In addition, with more teams they probably could add another playoff team in addition to the extra team in 2015. Finally with two extra teams and one in London, they probably could find a way to add an extra bye into the schedule and increase the season by another week.

  61. citiciti says: Jun 2, 2014 10:18 AM

    See-Ya.

  62. campcouch says: Jun 2, 2014 10:21 AM

    It’s tough relocating teams with actual fanbases…you know the folks who show up and fill the stadium even when the team is 4-12. The NFL saw that when the Art Modell moved the Browns organization to Baltimore. So much so that they put the entity in trust until an expansion was implemented. That’s bad pub for the league when storied franchises move. Buffalo is staying,and the NFL will expand in LA,finally getting a pro sports franchise that they can claim as homegrown and not transplanted from elsewhere.

  63. pooflingingmonkey says: Jun 2, 2014 10:23 AM

    Relax, Bills fans. You’re team isn’t moving to Los Angeles. Toronto is your eventual destination.

  64. vikesandravens78 says: Jun 2, 2014 10:37 AM

    I feel like it should be a source of pride that the NFL doesn’t need a team in LA to be so hugely successful. Los Angeles only has one franchise that they haven’t hijacked from some other city.

    I guess the bottom line is more important than fan loyalty.

  65. nflfan1326 says: Jun 2, 2014 10:43 AM

    Balmer may move the Clippers to Seattle. Wouldn’t that be a hoot. Bills to LA argument just because an NBA team went for $2B would be invalid.

  66. kylexitron says: Jun 2, 2014 10:47 AM

    The NFL is all about maximizing profits. Those of you talking about fan loyalty from the league and owners are fooling yourselves

  67. beeronthefridge says: Jun 2, 2014 10:59 AM

    The metropolitan Buffalo area has over 1 million inhabitants.

    If the government implemented a $6,000 tax per person, it could raise over 6 billion dollars, more than enough to buy the Bills and keep them home.

  68. iloveagoodnap says: Jun 2, 2014 11:06 AM

    For every 3 stories on here about the future of the Bills, there is 1 that always features someone high up in the Bills organization saying something along the lines of “I’m not at liberty to comment about that” as it relates to questions regarding any clauses or such left by Ralph before his death, never made public, which would prevent them from leaving.

    This suggests to me there are lots of things behind the scenes we don’t know about, and that things are in the works which have been in the works for several years. Now, I’m not going to be delusional here- I fully understand that there is the possibility something is in the works that will ultimately end up with them leaving town. But the fact no is ever “at liberty” to discuss also suggests the exact opposite could very well be true.

    Everyone just needs to wait, because really, there is so much more that we don’t know about than there is that we do know about.

  69. 1rockyracoon says: Jun 2, 2014 11:07 AM

    If you had a choice, as a business person, where would you want to own a NFL team– LA or Buffalo? Look at it objectively:

    LA- 2nd largest market; major corporations (sponsorships); other pro sports teams; celebrities; tourist destination and attractive to free agents

    Buffalo- 52nd sized media market; o Fortune 500 companies; no MLB or NBA team; has anyone ever picked Buffalo as a vacation spot? Ralph Wilson only started the team in Buffalo because the league wouldn’t allow him to start in Miami.

  70. brownsalwaysrebuilding says: Jun 2, 2014 11:07 AM

    They would need a name change too…

    because who the heck is Los Angeles Bill?

  71. deezenucks says: Jun 2, 2014 11:21 AM

    It’s a shame people just regurgitate media drivel and heresay from other posters who really know nothing of the story in Jacksonville. People repeatedly disprove the negative points but you all come back with the same tireless arguments.
    As a fan of a smaller market team, I root for teams like the bills, hope they stay in Buffalo and don’t sell out.

  72. completefan says: Jun 2, 2014 11:25 AM

    L.A. won’t support a team. They can’t support the L.A. KISS.
    Toronto won’t support a team. They can’t support the Argos.
    Fire up the tailgate on Lot 5 on Abbott Road. The Bills will be in Orchard Park for a long time.

  73. dws123 says: Jun 2, 2014 11:26 AM

    3 things have been proven in the last 54 years: L.A. couldn’t support the Rams, L.A. couldn’t support the Raiders, the city of Buffalo supports the Bills.

    As a Browns fan, I’d be happy to sign my name to any petition to keep the Bills in Buffalo. Hell, I’d even go door to door collecting signatures.

  74. tictoccpthook says: Jun 2, 2014 11:30 AM

    ‘Buffalo Bill’ and his show were a big hit in London a century ago; maybe it’s time now for the NFL ‘London Bills’. L.A. Has never had attendance for NFL games as good as London . Time to pass the fish and chips.

  75. realnflmaster says: Jun 2, 2014 11:33 AM

    Good. Move the team from that dumpster.

  76. oiramxiv says: Jun 2, 2014 11:46 AM

    You know I am really sick of some of the bash LA Fans talk. Raiders and Rams LEFT because the Cities of Los Angeles and Anaheim would NOT FUND a new stadium with Public money. Thats it. Thats the only reason they left. I was and still am a HUGE LA Rams fan, the Ice Queen TANKED that franchise the last 5 years to force a provision that stipulated that if the Rams were the bottom 15% of overall attendance she could exit and the term the lease in Anaheim. Which she did.

    LA would not build a new stadium for Al Davis who STOLE millions from Irwindale, a suburb of LA who said they would build him a Stadium in the huge hole off the 605. When Al didnt get his way with the LA City Council he moved his team back to the Beirut by the bay.

    The blanket statement LA Fans don’t care about football is crap and any knowledgeable football fan would tell you otherwise. The Rams were in LA for almost 50 years before they moved to the baseball town of St Louis. LA will support a football team. Bring back the Rams where they belong!

  77. coreyb3p says: Jun 2, 2014 11:47 AM

    This story is exactly what we have known for years now.

    I would be shocked if the winning bid didn’t come from someone looking to keep the Bills in Buffalo.

    However it isn’t out of the question it will not. If a Ballmer type offers an ungodly amount the trustees would have a hard time turning it down.

  78. iloveagoodnap says: Jun 2, 2014 12:09 PM

    1rockyracoon says: Jun 2, 2014 11:07 AM

    If you had a choice, as a business person, where would you want to own a NFL team– LA or Buffalo? Look at it objectively:

    LA- 2nd largest market; major corporations (sponsorships); other pro sports teams; celebrities; tourist destination and attractive to free agents

    Buffalo- 52nd sized media market; o Fortune 500 companies; no MLB or NBA team; has anyone ever picked Buffalo as a vacation spot? Ralph Wilson only started the team in Buffalo because the league wouldn’t allow him to start in Miami
    ……………………….
    Everything you say is factually accurate, but you are totally missing the point.

    No one is saying that an NFL team, or any other team, would be worth more in Buffalo than Los Angeles, because it isn’t true. A sports franchise in Los Angeles would be more profitable than in any other city, save for New York and maybe Chicago.

    I lived in Buffalo for 5 years and in that short time I grew an enormous soft spot for the Bills. Citizens of Buffalo are hard working, down to Earth good people. They have an unfathomable amount of pride in their community, and love it fully for what it is, and more importantly, even for what it isn’t. And a large part of that community, the way their pride in Buffalo is expressed to the outer world, is through the Bills.

    So the point is moving the team would crush countless souls in Buffalo, Rochester, Southern Ontario and various other areas of upstate NY. Few people have as much passion, and a feeling of a direct connection with their team, as do Bills fans.

  79. smokim says: Jun 2, 2014 12:15 PM

    If they move.. will they be known as the Beverly
    Hill Billies.

  80. mrlaloosh says: Jun 2, 2014 12:20 PM

    Look for a new stadium to be built in LA for the Bills & Chargers. 2 teams would make it economical feasible.
    Farmers Field will be a 21st century palace that’ll make Jerry World look like an outhouse.

  81. cptbuff says: Jun 2, 2014 12:23 PM

    Haha, Jets fans calling the Bills a doormat?

    Fun fact, the Bills despite a 15 year playoff drought still have a winning record all time against the Jets. Pretty sad for NJ fans.

    Whoever said Toronto has a stadium in place and is 3 hours from Buffalo obviously knows nothing about Toronto or its situation.

  82. cptbuff says: Jun 2, 2014 12:25 PM

    A city doesn’t need to be a vacation destination to support a football team. Most people at Jets and Giants games aren’t tourists in NYC for the weekend.

  83. steveny5 says: Jun 2, 2014 12:39 PM

    Bills fan here. I thought our team would never leave. Honestly. Now I just don’t know.

  84. dadawg77 says: Jun 2, 2014 12:58 PM

    One, market matters less for NFL teams than NBA (or other sports) teams. There is very little local TV revenue for NFL teams where LA market is worth hundreds of millions a year for the Clippers. An LA team would be able to charge higher prices for boxes and seats but with NFL revenue sharing policies it matters less.

    Two, NBA has much more grow potential than the NFL. NFL is king in the US, but basketball is the second international sport. NBA is just starting to capitalize on that with major international distribution deals on the horizon. NFL grow is limited as US broadcast contracts value don’t have much more room to grow. Wouldn’t be surprised if NBA matches the NFL in total revenue from broadcasting games anywhere relatively soon.

  85. phluffyclouds says: Jun 2, 2014 1:03 PM

    So pathetic, LA doesn’t deserve the NFL and Buffalo is one of the GREATEST fanbases in all of sports.

    The Bills ARE Buffalo!!!

    Signed,
    A Carolina Fan

  86. sbchampsagain says: Jun 2, 2014 1:10 PM

    Who moves to the AFC East if Buffalo heads west?

    How do the other divisions shake out?

    KC moves to AFCS? Tennessee/Indy to the AFCE?

  87. buffobeel42 says: Jun 2, 2014 1:26 PM

    LA Bills get moved to the NFC West. St Louis Rams get moved to the AFC South. Colts get moved to the AFC North. Baltimore Ravens get moved to the AFC East!

  88. joetoronto says: Jun 2, 2014 1:26 PM

    “And if the Wilson family opts to maximize the return without regard for whether the Bills may leave and never return, a bid that reflects the team’s value not in Buffalo but in Los Angeles could be the easy winner.”

    That’s it in a nutshell right there, the team will be worth way more money in a big city, that’s just basic business.

    Now substitute L.A. with Toronto and that’s all she wrote.

  89. uglydingo says: Jun 2, 2014 1:31 PM

    Ralph could have sold a share of the Bills and had a partner who wanted to stay in Buffalo and progressively prepared for a smooth transition when the inevitable happened.
    While all the words may be good, Mary Wilson and family (and the lawyers) will probably seek to maximize the amount they receive and the franchise is probably worth a lot more if the team relocates.
    People like Donald Trump will say they commit to Buffalo, but if there is an extra $ billion in relocating, don’t bet on it.

  90. jpaq68 says: Jun 2, 2014 1:40 PM

    It’s all up to the “Trustees”.

    The “Trustees” are made up of that golddigger Mary Wilson and three other people. None of whom are from Buffalo and none of who cares what happens to Buffalo. The more the team is sold for, the more money these four people stand to pocket.

    Money talks and the Bills will walk.

  91. jjackwagon says: Jun 2, 2014 2:00 PM

    The Toronto Bills are a house of cards.

  92. capslockkey says: Jun 2, 2014 2:01 PM

    What exactly are the huge benefits for a team to move to LA?

    The main reasons for a team to move are increased ticket sales or demands for a new facility. Current Bill fans are die hards and will buy tickets even when they suck. If Buffalo wants to keep them, then offer up a new stadium before the ink dries.

    Like other’s said, my first thought when Balmer bought the Clippers was to move them OUT of LA to bring back the Supersonics he attempted to buy and keep in Seattle years ago. The only reason they are drawing local attention now at all is because the Lakers are terrible.

  93. realnflmaster says: Jun 2, 2014 2:11 PM

    “The Bills have a winning record all-time against the Jets”

    And the Jets have been to 2x more AFC Championships in the last 20 years than the Bills have winning seasons.

  94. truths4all says: Jun 2, 2014 2:11 PM

    Unless the Rams shove themselves into the forefront, Bills fans, you are screwed and your team is going to LA. Sorry, but no one cares what happens to Buffalo when big money talks.

    If you don’t buy tickets, then the Bills will leave even sooner.

    Your best bet is for the Rams to bolt and run back to LA which would leave your team as the next long-shot candidate to be relocated to London.

  95. patrick33706 says: Jun 2, 2014 2:29 PM

    Reveal the Trustees names!

  96. patrick33706 says: Jun 2, 2014 2:31 PM

    Have the Trustees walk down Delaware Ave ….Booth Lustig!

  97. jgedgar70 says: Jun 2, 2014 2:51 PM

    Here’s an idea.

    Wilson Trust to potential buyers: “The price is $2 billion. Put the stadium and team in whatever city you bloody well want to. One-half of the purchase price goes to us. The other half is to be reserved for you to build your own damn stadium without making the citizens whose net worths are 1/100,000th of yours pay for it. “

  98. mackcarrington says: Jun 2, 2014 3:00 PM

    Buffalo is hoping that Mary Wilson is a philanthropist who is willing to forego the best business deal and in effect “give ” the Bills to Buffalo.

  99. nflfan1326 says: Jun 2, 2014 3:17 PM

    Bills and Chargers in LA? Two AFC teams? Uh, no. Doing business in Buffalo or LA? Let’s see Gov Cuomo or moonbeam? Some choice. It seems to me businesses are leaving both cities. Toyota to Texas, etc. It would take at least six years to build LA Stadium with red tape and spotted owls, etc. So if someone bought the Bills today and wanted to move in 2019, they wouldn’t make it.

  100. nflfan1326 says: Jun 2, 2014 3:20 PM

    KC does not want to leave division with Oak, Den, SD. It’s that simple. See, this onion has a bunch of layers.

  101. xdexletxsluicer says: Jun 3, 2014 11:16 AM

    The other solution is for the Wilson family to just keep the Bills. That would end all the speculation. I don’t know why they don’t. It must be nice to be as selfish and disrespectful of a city that has supported and helped build the team over the last 50 years. How many other teams’ heirs just dump it? Not many.

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