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Bon Jovi, Trump may have violated Bills’ confidentiality agreement

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With Jon Bon Jovi writing a too-little, too-late letter to Bills fans and Donald Trump being Donald Trump, both may have violated a strict confidentiality agreement signed prior to the commencement of the process for expressing formal interest to buy the Buffalo Bills.

As explained by Tim Graham of the Buffalo News, the six-page document states that the bidder may not without prior written consent disclose that “you are considering the transaction or any other possible transaction . . . or that discussions or negotiations have taken or are taking place concerning the transaction.”

Bon Jovi’s letter makes clear that his Toronto-based group has submitted a bid.  Likewise, Trump told NBC’s Al Michaels that the New York City real estate mogul and reality-show host offered $1 billion in cash for the team.  (Jim Irsay wants to know how Trump fits that much money in his car.)

For Trump it doesn’t matter, since no one actually believes he’ll actually buy the team.  For Bon Jovi, it’s the latest negative twist for a guy quietly regarded in league circles as destined to own a team.  (He may be, but it probably won’t be the Bills.)

The agreement specifies no consequences for a violation, and with possibly only three total bidders it would be foolish to eliminate Bon Jovi and Trump without using their interest to squeeze every last penny out of Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula, the only known bidder who hasn’t made his bid known.  Still, news that Bon Jovi isn’t respecting the terms of the agreement he signed easily could be used by the many who don’t want him buying the team to support the idea that he will breach a contract (like the lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium) if it suits his interests.

Meanwhile, Graham reports that the other potential ownership groups were “thrilled” to see Bon Jovi’s letter, viewing it as a desperation effort to persuade Bills fans that Bon Jovi won’t move the team.  And that effort may have been more successful if the letter said something along the lines of, “I won’t move the team.”

Of nearly 10,000 folks who responded to our poll on the topic, nearly 80 percent don’t believe that Bon Jovi would keep the Bills in Buffalo.

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65 Responses to “Bon Jovi, Trump may have violated Bills’ confidentiality agreement”
  1. hjb99992013 says: Aug 5, 2014 7:44 AM

    I cant but help wonder about the 20% who believe JBJ would keep the team in Buffalo

    Those folks would give new meaning to guillable and naive

  2. joetoronto says: Aug 5, 2014 7:47 AM

    This is all bullcrap, the highest bid wins.

    Hello, Toronto.

  3. DicksSportingWoods says: Aug 5, 2014 7:49 AM

    Bon Jovi is half way there.

  4. jfk69 says: Aug 5, 2014 7:49 AM

    Trump is a gasbag. Anybody believing that the NFL owners would want this clown after his backing and owning and alternative league and team is delusional.
    Not too mention he would want the owners to pay him for the privilege of using his name.

  5. titansbro says: Aug 5, 2014 7:49 AM

    I don’t understand why any “business-man” would move the team. The Bills work in Buffalo. They have plenty of fans, they make money. Why risk that to move to an unknown, like Toronto? No one knows if a team will actually work in Toronto. It’s one thing for a team like the Jags or Chargers, who have had very little fan support at points in their existence, but for a team with a set fanbase it makes no sense.

  6. mrbigass says: Aug 5, 2014 7:54 AM

    I figure if can buy a team for a billion I can have them play in my backyard if I want to…..

  7. unbridledsexy says: Aug 5, 2014 7:54 AM

    Polls=facts every time. Amiright guys

  8. chut26 says: Aug 5, 2014 7:56 AM

    Trump doesn’t care. He is only doing it to keep his name in the lime light. You’re giving him exactly what he wants.

  9. followme2boston says: Aug 5, 2014 7:59 AM

    I hope Bon Jovi gets eliminated , just so I don’t have to keep seeing his song lyrics in the comment section anymore.

  10. mrpickelz says: Aug 5, 2014 8:02 AM

    Ohhhhh he’s living on a prayer!

  11. dchetz says: Aug 5, 2014 8:07 AM

    This whole thing has made me laugh…. nobody knows (for sure) what the mandate of the trust is. Nobody knows (for sure) what Ralph’s wishes for the team were. Nobody knows (for sure) who, what, or how much was bid in the first round. But everyone seems to know (for sure) what is gong to happen to them. People may, eventually, be right… but it’s not like you’re psychic or anything. Because nobody really knows anything. Right now, the only people who do know.. aren’t talking. So until we do, let’s all just wait and see this unfold…….

  12. unfortunatelyabillsfan says: Aug 5, 2014 8:17 AM

    Really hope that Pegula gets the team. I recently moved back to buffalo and it’s been amazing how much this city has changed. And a big part of it is Pegula’s development downtown. Go Bills!

  13. SparkyGump says: Aug 5, 2014 8:22 AM

    Good! Let the has been hairdo go back to singing his 30 year old songs to middle aged women. The Bills CAN and WILL be successful in Buffalo with a committed owner.

  14. annes22 says: Aug 5, 2014 8:26 AM

    The only people who care are the Buffalo fans, no one else is interested.

  15. jpaq68 says: Aug 5, 2014 8:29 AM

    The more the team sells for the more likely they are to move when the buyout clause kicks in, unless ground can be broken on a (mostly) taxpayer finaced stadium by 2018 at the latest.

  16. lionhunter909 says: Aug 5, 2014 8:29 AM

    Please anyone but Trump or Bon Jovi…….

  17. nfl fan says: Aug 5, 2014 8:33 AM

    14 years without a playoff appearance?

    Focus on that!

  18. artofscore says: Aug 5, 2014 8:42 AM

    Bon Jovi will move the team. watch #sonicsgate
    Terry Pegula is the only hope for the Bills.

  19. pourman says: Aug 5, 2014 8:46 AM

    Perhaps he considered the confidentiality to be voided by the DOZENS of prior reports in the media detailing the bid by his group.

  20. 23rdusernameused says: Aug 5, 2014 8:55 AM

    living on a prayer

  21. bgm9876 says: Aug 5, 2014 8:56 AM

    Irsay should also be asking how he can carry a billion dollars.

  22. citizenstrange says: Aug 5, 2014 9:09 AM

    OH NO!!!! They violated a strict confidentiality agreement!

    You know what would make that confidentiality agreement disappear into thin air? A three billion dollar bid. You could shout that from the rooftops and it would be OK.

    This is all so silly.

  23. billswillnevermove says: Aug 5, 2014 9:14 AM

    jpaq68 says:Aug 5, 2014 8:29 AM

    The more the team sells for the more likely they are to move when the buyout clause kicks in, unless ground can be broken on a (mostly) taxpayer finaced stadium by 2018 at the latest.
    __________________________________
    Make sure you save up airfare so you can watch the Jags in London next year.

  24. dude1988 says: Aug 5, 2014 9:14 AM

    enough with the bon jovi lyrics, it was funny the first 18 posts

  25. nyyjetsknicks says: Aug 5, 2014 9:15 AM

    If you think Trump is seriously going to buy the Bill, you are probably one of those people to respond and lose money to “Nigerian royalty”.

  26. deadlevelbest says: Aug 5, 2014 9:33 AM

    LOL @ everyone thinking that Toronto would automatically have the highest bid when JBJ has to have at least 30% of the ownership as the lead owner and is only worth $300M.

  27. spikeit2times says: Aug 5, 2014 9:44 AM

    Um – If Terry Pegula is a “known bidder”, as PFT continues to contend; wouldn’t that mean Terry also broke the confidentiality agreement? If indeed – the six-page document states that the bidder may not without prior written consent disclose that “you are considering the transaction or any other possible transaction . . . or that discussions or negotiations have taken or are taking place concerning the transaction.”; simply letting it be known that a bid was placed and hence being a “known bidder” would have disclosed the possible transaction. Would it not?

  28. v2787 says: Aug 5, 2014 9:46 AM

    If/when the new owner(s) move the team out of Buffalo, they will be hated forever. Remember when Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore? People now urinate on his grave. Remember when Irsay stole out of town in the middle of the night, moving the Colts to Indianapolis and tearing the heart out of Baltimore? “Irsay” is still a curse word in Baltimore. The Buffalo Bills are all that the city of Buffalo has, and moving that team will engender hatred for the new owners on a permanent basis. You don’t mess with the heart and soul of a blue collar town like Buffalo and think that people will simply forget about it in a year or two. Business is one thing, but community pride is another. It’ll be a sad day if/when the Bills are moved, and the scars won’t go away.

  29. valentino8100 says: Aug 5, 2014 10:01 AM

    Money talks -always has, always will. The rest is just details, get over it. Ridiculous to vilify perspective entrepreneurs simply because their plans do not align with your own.

  30. JackedUpSports says: Aug 5, 2014 10:01 AM

    THE BILLS MUST STAY. There’s no place in the NFL for celebrity owners

  31. barneyrumble says: Aug 5, 2014 10:11 AM

    Bills lost four Super Bowls and have done nothing since. Time for them to move. The only people hating it are Buffalo people, no one else will care. Harsh cold facts.

  32. iloveagoodnap says: Aug 5, 2014 10:22 AM

    barneyrumble says: Aug 5, 2014 10:11 AM

    Bills lost four Super Bowls and have done nothing since. Time for them to move. The only people hating it are Buffalo people, no one else will care. Harsh cold facts.
    ………………………….
    Fail to see the connection here.

    New ownership is coming- regardless of where a team is, it would appear that the new ownerships regime and people employed would make all the difference, and not where the team is located, would it not? Considering you know, how there are traditionally terrible teams in large markets just as there are traditionally great teams in small ones?

    Good call, though.

  33. billswillnevermove says: Aug 5, 2014 10:25 AM

    joetoronto says:Aug 5, 2014 7:47 AM

    This is all bullcrap, the highest bid wins.

    Hello, Toronto.
    _________________________________
    Goodbye Toronto. Goodbye Joe……….Enjoy your Maple Laughs.

  34. iloveagoodnap says: Aug 5, 2014 10:26 AM

    spikeit2times says: Aug 5, 2014 9:44 AM

    Um – If Terry Pegula is a “known bidder”, as PFT continues to contend; wouldn’t that mean Terry also broke the confidentiality agreement?
    ………………..
    Terry Pegula hasn’t said a word publicly about the fact that he bid. It’s been reported by others. Pegula himself hasn’t said a word. Unlike Trump and Bon Jovi.

    The article explicitly mentions this. Maybe try reading all the way through next time.

  35. wny49er says: Aug 5, 2014 10:55 AM

    Pagula has the most money vs any of the other bidders. He will be the next owner of the BUFFALO Bill’s! Like Toronto gives a crap, they live and die with the Maple Leafs.

  36. jpaq68 says: Aug 5, 2014 11:16 AM

    Thetrollbillswillnevermove says:

    Make sure you save up airfare so you can watch the Jags in London next year.
    ________________________________
    Not going to happen. The Bills would be lucky to get someone like Shad Khan to buy them.

  37. Kelly's Chronicles says: Aug 5, 2014 11:19 AM

    I believe Bon Jovi is either delusional or incredibly naïve. The Toronto folks are using him. He gets all the negative press and when they do the bait and switch move to Toronto he will be held responsible. They aren’t going to spend a billion dollars on a team not to move it.

  38. wwwmattcom says: Aug 5, 2014 11:33 AM

    The 20% who said Bon Jovi won’t move the team are the people to the left of the bell curve.

  39. billswillnevermove says: Aug 5, 2014 11:38 AM

    jpaq68 says:Aug 5, 2014 11:16 AM

    Thetrollbillswillnevermove says:

    Make sure you save up airfare so you can watch the Jags in London next year.
    ________________________________
    Not going to happen. The Bills would be lucky to get someone like Shad Khan to buy them.
    __________________________________
    Sure, if you want Ron Jeremy’s brother to own them LOL.

  40. crazyaboutthepigskin says: Aug 5, 2014 11:46 AM

    There are a lot of dimensions to this sale:

    - Keep the team in Buffalo
    - Expansion move to LA or Toronto?
    - Last team in New York State
    - Will the NFL owners abandon a small market city with a rabid fan base?

    Ultimately, the family trust will make this decision with the approval of the owners; but, I suspect this decision will reflect on Roger’s tenure as Commissioner and how many other smaller markets will feel about the NFL.

  41. promickey says: Aug 5, 2014 11:58 AM

    Let Jim Irsay know that Trump will indeed bring a car full of ONE BILLION IN CASH. Trump will also bring the booz for Jim Irsay and any other meds he is willing to purchase.

  42. newjerseygiants says: Aug 5, 2014 12:03 PM

    I don’t think Trump is actually worth a billion dollars. He’s had far too many bad deals and bad investments. He does have his name on many things he doesn’t own, which creates the illusion of tremendous wealth. At best he’s probably worth 500 million.

  43. tardisjockey says: Aug 5, 2014 12:03 PM

    joetoronto says:Aug 5, 2014 7:47 AM

    This is all bullcrap, the highest bid wins.

    Hello, Toronto.
    _________________________________

    Wonder if joetoronto reads the Toronto Sun. John Kryk reported 5 days ago that the Bon Jovi group bid is unable to compete with Pegula and doomed to fail.

    If anyone thinks Pegula has any thoughts of moving the team remember 1). he already owns the Buffalo Sabres and can only own both teams if they are in the same city and 2). he is funding some multi-million $$ real estate developments in downtown Buffalo that he might as well put a match to if he were to move the Bills.

    So joetoronto, the highest bid will win and the team will stay right where it is.

  44. granadafan says: Aug 5, 2014 12:08 PM

    Bon Jovi, rightly or wrongly, was getting raked through the coals by the media (PFT being the chief instigator) and former players. He never said a word until forced to make a statement to head off (too late) a PR nightmare for the Toronto group.

    Trump is a just a publicity seeking gasbag. He doesn’t want to own the Bills and certainly can’t afford it. He only wants to put his name out there so the gullible celebrity worshipers/ Tea birthers can bow to him. It would be hilarious if the league called his bluff and conditionally accepted his “offer” to the buy the team. You’d see the world’s fastest backtracking by Trump.

  45. lehooper says: Aug 5, 2014 12:09 PM

    No story here, neither of those guys have a chance

  46. upstaterules says: Aug 5, 2014 12:20 PM

    Before Ralph Wilson died, he signed an ironclad lease with Erie County. Also, the One Game a year in Toronto was canceled for this year. So what criteria do you think the Trust is applying? Not moving the team would be high on the Trust’s list, hence not tarnishing Mr Wilson’s good name.

    Supposedly the order of bids from highest to lowest is Pegula, Trump and Bon Jovi. Golisano is still going to place a bid. So 3 out of 4 bids will keep the team in Buffalo longer than the buyout year of the lease, one we are unsure of as it wasn’t stated in his open letter in the Buffalo News.

    Quite honestly, as Pink Floyd said, “Get on with it”!! The bids have well surpassed the Forbes valuation, move on with it. We have a season to start playing.

  47. seabrawk12 says: Aug 5, 2014 12:21 PM

    Lay off Bon Jovi. It’s his life and it’s now or never. He aint gonna live forever. He just wants to live while he’s alive.

  48. billsfan1 says: Aug 5, 2014 12:34 PM

    Um – If Terry Pegula is a “known bidder”, as PFT continues to contend; wouldn’t that mean Terry also broke the confidentiality agreement? If indeed – the six-page document states that the bidder may not without prior written consent disclose that “you are considering the transaction or any other possible transaction . . . or that discussions or negotiations have taken or are taking place concerning the transaction.”; simply letting it be known that a bid was placed and hence being a “known bidder” would have disclosed the possible transaction. Would it not?

    5 15

    No because Pegula himself has not discussed anything with the bid. Otherwise, when it comes from “sources” it is all hearsay. JBJ also may have violated the agreement by contacting the fans directly. Trump casuallly mentioned what was bid…. But as far as Pegula, nothing has come from them directly.

  49. billswillnevermove says: Aug 5, 2014 12:35 PM

    tardisjockey says:Aug 5, 2014 12:03 PM

    joetoronto says:Aug 5, 2014 7:47 AM

    This is all bullcrap, the highest bid wins.

    Hello, Toronto.
    _________________________________

    Wonder if joetoronto reads the Toronto Sun. John Kryk reported 5 days ago that the Bon Jovi group bid is unable to compete with Pegula and doomed to fail.

    If anyone thinks Pegula has any thoughts of moving the team remember 1). he already owns the Buffalo Sabres and can only own both teams if they are in the same city and 2). he is funding some multi-million $$ real estate developments in downtown Buffalo that he might as well put a match to if he were to move the Bills.

    So joetoronto, the highest bid will win and the team will stay right where it is.
    _________________________________
    Joe doesn’t know how to read…….it’s a Toronto thing.

  50. soleobjective says: Aug 5, 2014 12:35 PM

    You guys ready for “Trump Field”? Totally could see him taking the naming rights to the stadium for himself if he somehow obtains the Bills.

  51. 22yearsagotoday says: Aug 5, 2014 12:46 PM

    Donald Trump: hero to orangutans everywhere.

  52. 22yearsagotoday says: Aug 5, 2014 12:48 PM

    “Bon Jovi…He aint gonna live forever.”

    Best news ever!

  53. jackbassett says: Aug 5, 2014 12:53 PM

    followme2boston says:

    Aug 5, 2014 7:59 AM

    I hope Bon Jovi gets eliminated , just so I don’t have to keep seeing his song lyrics in the comment section anymore.

    ———-

    Hush (100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong)

  54. bigjim50010 says: Aug 5, 2014 12:56 PM

    followme2boston says:
    Aug 5, 2014 7:59 AM
    I hope Bon Jovi gets eliminated , just so I don’t have to keep seeing his song lyrics in the comment section anymore.

    116 7
    mrpickelz says:
    Aug 5, 2014 8:02 AM
    Ohhhhh he’s living on a prayer!

    29 36
    888888888888888888888888888888
    best thing on the internet today!

  55. stevent92 says: Aug 5, 2014 12:57 PM

    As a Vikings fan, I got tired of the “your team may move” purgatory we found ourselves in for many, many years. I dont wish that on Buffalo, a city that is passionate about the Bills and have supported them throughout the years.

    Really hope they find a resolution soon, and preferrably one that keeps them in Western NY.

  56. firecracker87 says: Aug 5, 2014 12:59 PM

    It doesn’t matter where the team is; Buffalo, Toronto, or Mars….the Patriots will always own the Bills.

    (not a Patriots fan)

  57. fwippel says: Aug 5, 2014 1:07 PM

    If the Bills end up being moved, you can place the blame squarely on the state of New York.

    New York is hostile to big business and has been for decades. You only need to see what has happened to the state’s population in proportion to the rest of the nation since 1960 for proof. It’s hard enough for sports teams who play in the state to attract quality free agent talent because of the state’s confiscatory tax rates. Millionaires have left the state in droves because of these tax rates.

    If the new owner of the Bills finds greener pastures elsewhere, he’s not going to be guilted into turning it down to keep the Bills in Buffalo.

  58. 12thman84 says: Aug 5, 2014 1:12 PM

    Be careful Buffalo. Bon Jovi sure sounds a lot like Ken Behring…………

    Go Hawks!

  59. Frazier28/7 says: Aug 5, 2014 1:16 PM

    It could be worse, Red McCombs could try and buy your team.

  60. buddysguys says: Aug 5, 2014 1:23 PM

    jpaq68 says:
    Aug 5, 2014 11:16 AM
    Thetrollbillswillnevermove says:

    Make sure you save up airfare so you can watch the Jags in London next year.
    ________________________________
    Not going to happen. The Bills would be lucky to get someone like Shad Khan to buy them.

    _________________________

    funniest thing i have ever read.

  61. petecarrolmorelikecheatpayroll says: Aug 5, 2014 1:38 PM

    So tired of reading the name Bon Jovi in the news here on PFT. His name wasn’t even talked about this much in ’86!!

  62. cheyennelady says: Aug 5, 2014 1:54 PM

    Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies closer. Maybe the boycotting Bon Jovi is the wrong way of going about it. Fans of football or rock stars have no final say. What is going to happen is going to happen. Some have Bon Jovi already owning and moving the Bills. Lets take it a day at a time folks. If fans of the Bills want them to stay put and Bon Jovi does gain ownership maybe they should be asking Bon Jovi in a favorable way, just a suggestion.

  63. billswillnevermove says: Aug 5, 2014 2:09 PM

    jpaq68 says:Aug 5, 2014 11:16 AM

    Thetrollbillswillnevermove says:

    Make sure you save up airfare so you can watch the Jags in London next year.
    ________________________________
    Not going to happen. The Bills would be lucky to get someone like Shad Khan to buy them.
    _________________________________
    What I really love is how you changed my name to troll………..when you actually post under the same name, jpqaq68 in our Buffalo News sports page. Who is the troll? Dang, it must be really boring in Jacksonville. I would never stoop so low as to post in someone else’s home town newspaper.

  64. theeclevelandsteamer says: Aug 5, 2014 2:46 PM

    Not sure why any businessman would move team?

    Toronto and surrounding area = 6 million people.
    Buffalo, NY & surrounding area = 1.2 million.

  65. tardisjockey says: Aug 5, 2014 4:36 PM

    theeclevelandsteamer says:
    Aug 5, 2014 2:46 PM

    Not sure why any businessman would move team?

    Toronto and surrounding area = 6 million people.
    Buffalo, NY & surrounding area = 1.2 million.
    ________________________________

    Actually, within the counties comprising Western New York, including the City of Rochester (home to Bills training camp), there are approximately 2.5 million people within a 90 minute/2hr drive to the stadium. Many fans come from even further to see games on a regular basis. Add in the immediately adjacent areas of Southern Ontario just across the border (solid Bills territory) within the same driving distance and you have another couple million easy. (BTW- this is not a Canada vs. US thing by any stretch. There are many die-hard Bills fans in Southern Ontario who have always supported team and don’t want them in Toronto either).

    Also consider that the Bills, with the longest non-playoff streak in the league and in a “small market”, were still 19th in average attendance in 2013. This is right behind Super Bowl winner Seattle, and ahead of many larger, warmer weather markets such as Arizona, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville and Oakland with over 66,000 per game. By contrast, since starting the Toronto Series, the attendance for games there topped 52,000 just once, and hit a low of 38,000 this past year.

    Finally, as they are, the Bills make money. While not mind blowing, their estimated net profits exceeded the Cardinals, Buccaneers and even the 49ers(!) in 2013. Somehow, Detroit managed to lose money for a second year in a row.

    Could a potential owner seeking to maximize his profits think he could nab a lot of corporate fat cat $ with premium luxury seats in Toronto? Sure. He just has to pay a billion plus for the team, scrape by for several lame duck years waiting for the current lease to expire (during which you can be certain the Buffalo area will be in revolt and not support with attendance), deal with super high land costs and build a suitable stadium in Toronto ($1.5 billion +?) with likely no public $ available, then pay whatever relocation fee the other owners want to extract from you (assuming they approve the move to begin with)…and hope the apathy seen during the prior Bills games there is not indicative of the future.

    Or a smart businessman like Terry Pegula, who has already made his billions in oil, might just say “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” And besides, even Bon Jovi would agree that being an NFL owner isn’t about a good investment – it is about the prestige. Notably, when he bought the Sabres Pegula flat out said it wasn’t about making money for him. If it was about profits, he said he would just drill another well.

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