Bon Jovi’s group vows to keep team in Buffalo

Getty Images

Rocker Jon Bon Jovi has indeed joined a Toronto-based group that hopes to buy the Buffalo Bills.  And Bon Jovi and company indeed are claiming that they intend to keep the team in Buffalo.

Via the Associated Press, Bon Jovi’s group has retained a banking firm and submitted paperwork expressing interest in buying the franchise from the estate of Ralph Wilson.  Via John Kryk of the Toronto Sun, Bon Jovi’s group has told others, and will inform the trust that will sell the team, that the Bills won’t leave Buffalo.

The first hint that Bon Jovi’s intentions had changed came when his former partner in the AFL’s Philadelphia Soul, Ron Jaworski, told Buffalo radio that Bon Jovi never intended and doesn’t intend to move the team.

It remains to be seen whether they mean it.  There’s a chance they mean it for now, and that they’ll mean it for as long as it takes to buy the franchise.  Then, after the 2019 season (when a window opens to buy out the rest of the lease) or after the 2022 season (when the lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium expires), they can have an unexpected change of heart.

That’s why it’s important for Bon Jovi to align with key former members of the team and to sell to them that he’s telling the truth, hopeful that they in turn will send that message to the fan base.  There’s a special connection between the all-time great Bills players and the fan base, and the fan base will be far more likely to believe the likes of Thurman Thomas than a guy who clearly wants to own the team not because it’s in Buffalo but because it’s in the NFL.

82 responses to “Bon Jovi’s group vows to keep team in Buffalo

  1. Baloney… Then why is the group scouting property outside of Toronto? They are trying to reassure NFL owners that if they buy the team fans will show up. Sorry Pegula can buy the team cash and won’t move it. Go away BonJovi

  2. maybe he forgets he is not welcome in buffalo and he is just Living on Prayer on this attempt to buy team. Terry Pegula will be next owner of Bills!!!

  3. Roger that! And I’m a Jet fan! But I never want to see the Bills move!! That would be a shame!! An NFL without the Buffalo Bills? Just isn’t right!!!

  4. I know Buffalo isn’t one of the larger NFL markets. But you have to admit they have a loyal and proud fan base. Dollar signs might make a potential buyer want to move to LA or some other larger market. But in the end, if the new owners are true football fans, it would be better to stay where the fans are loyal and will stick by the team year in and year out.

  5. I’m part of the 1% of the population who never fell in love with Bon Jovi’s music, but I do like him if that makes any sense to anyone.

    And more importantly in this context, it is really cool to see how he’d have the Western New York fan’s backs. Those people are loyal, passionate, true bleed Bills colors fans — and it’s just really cool to see Bon Jovi and his consortium get that.

  6. One last small comment: HUGE credit to the late Ralph Wilson for his loyalty to that region too. RW could have went cash grab for decades — but he stayed true to Buffalo, and that is exceptionally rare in this day and age, and cool as heck.

  7. Pretty clear now that the goal is to have a Toronto-Buffalo team in the NFL with split home games.

    The NFL is orchestrating this entire thing.

  8. When the wolf told little red riding hood “the better to eat you with”, what do you think the first thing that went through her mind ? It’s the exact same thing on every Bills’ fans mind & the trustees will see right through this, their paperwork will shuffled to the bottom of the deck without even being looked over.

  9. What’s with the NFL moving teams to foreign countries? Buffalo to Toronto. A team in London. Oakland to LA…

  10. I can’t really see them splitting Toronto and Buffalo, they would have to build a new stadium in Toronto still and if they went thru all that money do you think they would only play 4 games there a year?

  11. Who goes to LA?

    And in a few years who goes to London?

    Hard to believe that the Jags, Bills, Rams, and Phins are not on the short list for both cities.

  12. Bon Jovi’s group can vow anything they want. This group will not be trusted to keep their word and would move the team to Toronto the first opportunity they get. The fans of the Bills will see right thru this plan and not buy in. Toronto has proven time and time again it is not a football market. Although I’m strongly opposed, their will be a team in London long before a team ever calls Toronto home.

  13. for those wondering why so many Bills articles….It’s because the league knows they are probably the best team right now….psych…it’s cuz theyre like the only team at camp already

  14. Callin Jon bon jovial a “rocker!” lol! Hilarious. He’s like a Jr high kiddie band. Anyway, if someone with “mediocre money” (at best) like this guy can pose ANY kind of a threat to purchase an NFL team….lol, that’s probably a team not worth having. My point’s made.

  15. Jaworksi is a Buffalo native but you never really hear about that. If Bon Jovi is aligning with him to get the local support forget about it!

  16. what else would this guy say the team is stuck in Buffalo for like five more years. Negative much better much better options out there, Buffalo fans won’t fall for it. This guys can get the ghost of Ralph Wilson’s and it wouldn’t work. The Bills have a smart fan base, not falling for any Trojan Horse

  17. The philosopher Iwannajiz once said: “Forsake not the idea that you can’t move a mountain because they do. Indeed, the forests, beavers and soil do so too.”

    That quote has always reminded me of the first time I knew Bon Jovi would be an NFL owner and, indeed, one day a future icon of league we love.

    I knew it then, for sure.

  18. Since he is a personal friend of the great Bill Belichick he can indeed be trusted with his promise not to move the Bills.

    Jon Bon Jovi is a man of character and integrity and I fully believe he wouldn’t do a thing to upset the fine balance of the vaunted AFC East.

  19. Why? It’s a terrible market. Anyone who buys this team will move it to city that builds the biggest stadium that can fill it

  20. Good luck Buffalo! We just went through this in MN. Those fair weather(literally and figuratively) fans will never understand our passion, dedication, and the sense of unity amongst family and strangers alike that an NFL franchise brings to our small markets. To heck with them all!!!!

    Go Bills!

  21. One thing that Bon Jovi is good at, is keeping a brand going ‘as is’. So if he says its not moving hes keeping the brand ‘as is’. He’s a Jersey Boy so he won’t be going to LA any time soon.

    B.J. could be the best thing for Buffalo, Trump is a bad bet.

  22. I wouldn’t claim to know the man’s intentions, but in order to put the city of Buffalo and western New York at ease, he should be willing to put it in writing and make it legally binding.

  23. Bills organization had our back when Browns left town. Time to return the favor. No way Bills belong ANYWHERE except Buffalo. Choose wisely NFL, we are watching.

  24. If they leave I will be without a team. If that happens Roger will never hear the end of this. Plus I will still fly my Bills flag n every thing like they were still there. U can take the team out of buffalo but one can’t take the bills out of us. Go Bills

  25. The thing that the NFL and players may have lost sight of, is that taxes in Canada and Europe are a lot higher than the U.S. The new PM of France wanted to raise the highest individual tax rate to 75%. How are you gonna field a veteran team when most players will try to sign elsewhere ASAP? Some of you may recall that Vince Carter got out of Canada ASAP, citing the high taxes.

  26. I’m happy for the Buffalo fans…nothing worse than the fear of some guy taking your team away. Had that issue in Tampa about 15 years ago. Now…if it’s a Toronto-based group, you’ll probably have some lobbying for a couple more games in Canada…maybe some deals for Candian fans…but that could be good. Hold the line though, don’t let ’em take your team.

  27. Every team has its thorn.
    Also, its an American sports tragedy if the Bills move. Win one for Jim Kelly.

  28. To the other fans in New York, Cleveland, Minnesota and elsewhere:

    Thank you for the support.

    We’ve been living with this threat since 2007. We just want it to be over and keep our team where it belongs.

  29. When LA had the Rams, they couldn’t sell out the stadium and it’s why the Rams are in ST Louis right now. Why would anything be any different.

    Plus you can add the Chargers and Raiders to the teams likely to move to LA.

  30. Dear Bon Jovi,

    No one is buying it. Stay the hell away from our team, and take that fat Poll Jaworski with you too.

    Signed,
    #billsmafia

  31. The Bills belong in Buffalo. When Wilson was awarded the franchise in 1959, Buffalo had a large and growing economy and population. And Buffalo was snubbed by the NFL when the AAFC folded. It was one of the more profitable franchises but they picked Baltimore to join the NFL. Buffalo’s economy and population had a slight decline but it is on the rise again. Meanwhile, cities like Oakland show nothing but contempt for the Raiders. Buffalo is showing more support for their team than the East Bay armpit that Oakland is.The politicians and the fan base need to do whatever it takes to keep the team there.

  32. You clowns here trying to drop in Bon Jovi song references think you’re funny but you’re not. You give bad comedy a bad name.

  33. Jaws is full of it, he already turned his back on Buffalo a while ago so why would we believe a word that comes out of his mouth. Find yer own team, we fill our seats. We are dedicated fans, we’ve supported this team during good times and ALL the bad times. It sucks that its all about making money. I couldnt even imagine not seeing our home team on Sundays. #BillsMafia

  34. Like it or not, this is the highest bidder, & the group with the most money by far.

    Hello, Toronto.

  35. The Buffalo Bills have been around for 54 years. When over that long time a team goes through some rough sledding but holds its own, that shows precisely why it should stay right where it is. Meanwhile, you have huge cities out there such as L.A. that blew the chance to have and to hold a team numerous times, yet the NFL thinks L.A. should have a team? Get your priorities in order NFL! Roger, tell the would-be buyers the Buffalo Bills must remain in Buffalo! It’s time for football!

  36. About Bon Jovi, you call this article damage control? Nobody up here trusts you and your music is still banned. Your public image in Upstate NY is tainted. You let Jaworski do your talking? Now we really don’t think he has the ability to man up!! He has no business owning a football team and leading men.

    Now move the Bills out of Buffalo or WNY and hello anti-trust senate investigations, compliments of our senior senator Chuck Schumer. Also, there will be increased ticket sales at UB and SU football games, plus canceled NFL tickets acrossed WNY. How ’bout dem tactics Jerry Jones!!!

  37. Hur Hur another article about Bon Jovi, better say that Buffalo is living on a prayer. Or that the fans will be shot through the heart. Don’t jokes ever get old to you people?

  38. Whoever buys the Bills will say that they are keeping the team in Buffalo until the window in the current lease opens up and then they will be gone.

  39. Bon Jovi thinks his music still rocks, Vernon Davis is on strike, Colts are all in on a guy named Luck, its tough, so tough. Rex dreams of winning all day, he crys every night, Sanchez whispers its not ok, wish I could play. But they’ve got to go on, dont stand a shot, NFL is so much differant than a park sandlot, we’ve got the Seahawks, and thats alot for twelves, get back on your shelves! Ohhh it just aint fair, oh whoa! You aint got a prayer! Now take the little hand below, and reply no, oh, ohhh you aint got a prayer!

  40. No deal on this. BUF fans aren’t buying. Maybe they’ll be persuaded to support the group if Bon Jovi does the National Anthem before EVERY Sunday game.

  41. Of course he says that. The $400 million penalty isn’t for moving the team, it’s for talking about moving the team.

    Goodell explained to Bongiovi in their meeting that he can him get ownership approval (what he needs) if he keeps the team in Buffalo and builds a new stadium (what Roger wants) there. Trying to move to LA will get easily blocked by Spanos, Davis, Kroenke and five of their buddies.
    Roger knows Bflo fans will abandon the Bills if they move to Toronto, and he is not willing to take the gamble that Canadians may or may not support the team during hockey season.

  42. I’m in Jax listening to the London talk. The NFL is a trade association at the league level, specifically allowed tax treatment as a non-taxed, not for profit. Jax and Buffalo residents – like everyone else – are thus helping to pay Mr. Goodell’s efforts to export jobs and move an American football team to a foreign country. I’ve been sending letters to my Congressmen about this. If a team and jobs move offshore the league should be taxed as a business – that which it clearly is in brute fashion.

  43. The NFL has a LOT to lose on this deal. If the Bills are moved, they stand to lose 54 years of their history, the most loyal fans in the NFL, the 11th largest TV base, the 20th largest revenue. And this is without taking into account that one of the most powerful Senators in the US, one that opposes several NFL related laws, has expressed the need to keep the team in place. If the team moves, the NFL makes a major enemy in its efforts to keep blackout rules and its not-for -profit status.

  44. cimmerian77 says:
    Jul 19, 2014 8:10 PM
    Callin Jon bon jovial a “rocker!” lol! Hilarious. He’s like a Jr high kiddie band. Anyway, if someone with “mediocre money” (at best) like this guy can pose ANY kind of a threat to purchase an NFL team….lol, that’s probably a team not worth having. My point’s made.
    ………………………
    If your point is that you are completely incorrect, then yes, it is made.

    Bon Jovi is part of a Toronto based group (you know, like the article mentions) intending to buy the team. More specifically, the group is Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. They own the Toronto Raptors, Maple Leafs & Argonauts. Bon Jovi is just the front man, the celebrity face, the American guy people know. Hed be 20% or less of the majority owner.

    But good point.

  45. joetoronto says:
    Jul 20, 2014 6:27 AM
    Like it or not, this is the highest bidder, & the group with the most money by far.

    Hello, Toronto.
    …………….
    1) Im amazed at your inside knowledge and intuition on who has what money out of all the bidders!

    2) I’m amazed that you, before anyone else other than Wilson’s attorneys and the 4 members of his trust, know the intricate details of his will & testaments clause about selling the team after his death. Incredible!

Leave a Reply