Report: Bills have up to eight suitors

AP

With all the noise coming from two of the higher-profile Bills bidders, the full universe of candidates hadn’t been known.  Previously believed to consist of only Jon Bon Jovi’s group, Donald Trump, and Sabres owner Terry Pegula, up to five more may be in the mix.

According to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News, the trust responsible for selling the franchise from Ralph Wilson’s estate will begin to conduct meetings with as many as eight prospective buyers in the next three weeks.

First up, Trump.  The real-estate mogul, who recently told NBC’s Al Michaels that Trump bid $1 billion in cash for the team, met with the trust on Wednesday.  An “undisclosed” bidder will get together with the folks screening the candidates on Thursday, and Pegula will meet with the trust next week.

The unknown bidders may include former Sabres owner Thomas Golisano, who has publicly expressed interest in the team.

While the existence of unnamed potential buyers will make Bills fans nervous because those buyers could be based in cities like Los Angeles, the rejection of Bon Jovi’s initial bid based in part of the lack of sufficient assurances that the team won’t move should be interpreted as very good news for folks who want the team to stay put in Buffalo.

51 responses to “Report: Bills have up to eight suitors

  1. I’m shocked that Donald Trump has $1billion in cash. He’s pretty famously built his wealth on debt and properties, I doubt he could actually come up with that much cash.

  2. Can the city of Buffalo buy the team? That would be most excellent and not entirely impossible. I think it would be a great thing for an NFL team to be owned by a community of people.

  3. Can people stop giving Trump publicity. He’s not going to buy any team or run for public office. He’s like a 16 year old girl, he only wants people to keep talking about him.

  4. Against all logic, Trump might have the personality to make a good — or at least entertaining — NFL owner. The pendulum has swung pretty far to the dry corporate side, time to bring in some showmanship.

  5. You would think that if Trump can afford to spend $1 Billion cash on a football team he would fix his hair first….

  6. They can have as many suitors as possible. The fact is, it’s Terry and Kim Pegula’s team to lose. They have the most money, and they don’t need to provide a plan or an assurance of keeping the team in Buffalo, because they are almost single handily revitalizing downtown by themselves.

  7. I’m not surprised at all that more potential buyers are in the mix. Smart money people don’t broadcast their every move. Pulling together a billion can have consequences for their other business interests, their families, and their competition.

  8. Can the city of Buffalo buy the team? That would be most excellent and not entirely impossible. I think it would be a great thing for an NFL team to be owned by a community of people.

    That would be money well spent by a city. I’m sure the billion dollars it would take to buy the team couldn’t be better spent building schools, city infrastructure, fully staffing police, fire departments, and hospitals.

    I would like to see the Bills stay in Buffalo, but lets get a grip folks. The world will not, I repeat will not end if the Bills are moved out of Buffalo. If the city is so passionate about the team, how come when I’ve seen a game in Buffalo in the last few years the stadium isn’t even full.

  9. If all 100M nfl fans each chipped in $150, we can make a $1.5B bid and run the team like the packers. Only difference is that we’d have real stock.

  10. I love how everyone thinks that pegula would not have the same concerns as the other buyers. A stadium.

    Last time I checked this is a business not a charity.

    I hope whoever buys it holds buffalo’s feet to the fire and gets a new stadiums. Or pulls out to somewhere else.

    Let’s see how good the fans really are and if they will do what it takes to keep em. Or will they be like Cleveland and complain their team left after they were given numerous opportunities to build a stadium and keep them.

  11. If you don’t think the Bills belong in Buffalo or question the loyalty of the fans and this region’s commitment to the team, you really know nothing about western NY. I’m not worried though because Pegula is what every Buffalo sports fan dreams of being…rich and in position to own both the Sabres and the Bills. If you know anything about this man, money is not a concern. He will get it done.

  12. The fans of the Bills shouldn’t have to worry at all about anybody moving the team anywhere. All they need to do is simply build a new stadium. How simple is that? What in the world are they waiting around for?

  13. It would be the worse feelings ever to be a Bill’s fan if Trump were to buy the team. But don’t worry he’s broke and has no money. He likes to fool people and make people think he’s rich but he has nothing except his own balls. Worse human kind ever to exist.

  14. Two sources have told The Buffalo News that Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is involved with one of the undisclosed bidders and meeting with the Bills’ trust today. The News previously reported Jeffrey Gundlach, the bond investor from East Amherst, had approached Kelly about joining forces. Gundlach lives in LA, but would keep the Bills in Buffalo. He doesn’t have the pockets that Terry does though. Either way, the Bills are staying in Buffalo, you can take that to the bank.

  15. Someone needs to take his eyes off Brady’s backside long enough to read the news. Trump hasn’t owned casinos in years. He sold his stake in Atlantic City in 2009, and just licensed his name to them…

  16. Buffalo fans don’t need to build the team a stadium with their tax dollars to show support. They’ve shown up strong since 1999 w/o seeing their team make the playoffs. I’m sure the Wilsons prefer that commitment over a $200M subsidy for a stadium.

  17. I honestly do not understand how you could spend in excess of a billion dollars for a sports team and be unable to move it if you wanted so it could actually make a return on your investment.

    Crap deal if you ask me…..

  18. jm91rs says:

    I’m shocked that Donald Trump has $1billion in cash. He’s pretty famously built his wealth on debt and properties, I doubt he could actually come up with that much cash.
    ====================================
    His net worth is 3.9 billion and that does not include his property holdings. He can come up with a billion.

  19. The population of Buffalo has been in steady decline since 1950. 580K to @290K which is half as many people for those keeping track at home. They in the bottom third of the league in attendance compared to capacity last year.

    Toronto is a bustling city with 2.5M people and it’s right on the other side of Lake Ontario so people from Buffalo can still go just like people from all over New England travel to see the Patriots. It will bring the league an international presence and open up a whole new market. It’s selfish to hold the team hostage.

  20. Please just pack up for Toronto. This team has been irrelevant since the failed Championship runs of yesteryear.
    New York doesn’t even consider you as part of their state.

    RIP

  21. Just wait until someone quietly buys it and moves it to LA. Then all those Bon Jovi haters will feel foolish and their team gone forever.

  22. @ragnarthemagnificent.

    No, teams cannot be publicly owned anymore…packers are grandfathered in. And the NFL is now restricting their sale of “shares”, due to the unfair advantage. Which is ridiculous, if people are dumb enough to donate money to billion dollar organizations, let them.

  23. Buffalo cant buy the Bills. The NFL has rules against it since Green Bay found a loophole and took advantage of it back in the day.
    ””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Green Bay (The City) didn’t buy the team. Fans bought stock in the team, and have voting rights (Pack fans I think I got that right). Nothing precludes a city from buying a team. But, it’s a dumb option. They have more important things to spend on than entertainment!

  24. Why doesn’t Donald Chump buy the Cowboys, instead ?

    Isn’t it America’s team ??

    Dump the Chump

  25. @sunzu717 you’re exactly right. Build the stadium on the southern side of Toronto but still in Canada just to get that international presence to our great league. It’ll be just as far as driving from Western MA or New Hampshire to Foxborough MA.

  26. thirtyrackdash says:Aug 7, 2014 1:31 PM

    The population of Buffalo has been in steady decline since 1950. 580K to @290K which is half as many people for those keeping track at home. They in the bottom third of the league in attendance compared to capacity last year.

    Toronto is a bustling city with 2.5M people and it’s right on the other side of Lake Ontario so people from Buffalo can still go just like people from all over New England travel to see the Patriots. It will bring the league an international presence and open up a whole new market. It’s selfish to hold the team hostage.
    __________________________________
    How about we move the New England Patriots to London and call them the London Patriots? It’s only on the other side of the ocean.

  27. The Buffalo metro area actually has 1.2 million residents. Rochester, 60 miles away, has a 1.1 million. Add them together and the market size jumps from #50 to #29, ahead of NFL cities such as Indy, Cinci, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans & Jacksonville. The whole small market argument loses more weight when you look at where Buffalo sits on a map. Go west & north out of downtown Buffalo, and you’re immediately bordered by water. There are 4 bridges crossing into Southern Ontario where the population is 6 million up toward Toronto.

    Unfortunately, the border prevents the market from declaring itself an 8 million TV market (which ties Boston for the 6th largest N American mkt), but that is the reality. Onatrio residents reportedly make up 20% of the Bills attendance. S. Ontario & Toronto residents get the local Buffalo ABC, CBS and NBC on their tv’s.

    These type of distances are erased in many incidents when talking metro size (Flint is counted as part of Detroit’s metro population, Sandusky is counted toward Cleveland’s, etc…) but not when it comest to Buffalo/Rochester/Toronto

    So yes, the city of Buffalo may have 260,000 residents, but don’t be fooled by all the desperate small mkt junk you read. It’s simply not true.

  28. @thirtyrackdash: Toronto is a bustling city with 2.5 million people. You mean the same 2.5 million people that won’t attend Toronto Argonaut games and the Bills in Toronto series. Toronto just says, “trust us NFL, we really do like football”. Keep the Bills in the city that will give them full support-BUFFALO. Good luck Mr. Pegula.

  29. People saying the Bills fans don’t support. Please give me a break. If the Bills don’t make the playoffs this year, it will be the longest streak in NFL history. Meaning the Bills since 2000 are quite literally the worst team of all time.

    In other words they have gone through a stretch of defeat that no other fan base can even relate to. And yet they begin each season with fans bursting with hope and excitement.

    Green Bay is Buffalos lone December home game this year. If they are still in the thick of the playoff hunt when they play that game, you had better believe you won’t be able to find a ticket.

  30. Being a Bills fan, and living in southwestern Ontario, I’d hate to see the Bills move.
    Toronto is the kind of city that will support a team..as far as it’s winning.
    The soccer team is a new phenomena…and people are getting tired of them going nowhere.
    The Blue Jays ( with 2 World Series under their belt), can not draw like before anymore.
    The Argonauts of the CFL are considered second rate, the same as the Toronto Marlies in hockey..
    Only the Leafs draw well in T.O…but only if there’re doing well…
    With their fans waiting since 1967, close to the end of the season and the hockey team out of the running, you can get tickets to the games, no problem.
    The Raptors draw well now, because the team is half decent…but you still can get tickets.
    Like hell the Bills would draw here, with this roster, like they do in Buffalo.
    LONG LIVE THE BILLS…in Buffalo..

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