Report: Buffalo buyers quietly preparing for chance to acquire Bills

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With a 93-year-old owner whose family has no plan to keep owning the team once the current owner takes a meeting with the Great Owner in the Sky, a new owner of the Buffalo Bills eventually will emerge.

Ed Kilgore of WGRZ-TV reports that multiple groups already are working behind the scenes to get in position to make a play for the team whenever Ralph Wilson’s tenure as the only owner in team history ends.

Wilson, who according to John Eisenberg’s excellent Ten-Gallon War (which tells the story of the rise of the AFL from the perspective of the two pro teams that landed in Dallas) initially was going to enter the league as owner of the “Miami Seahawks,” won’t sell during his lifetime.  When his lifetime concludes, the groups preparing to make a bid include multiple groups that would keep the team in Buffalo.

“[T]here are at least two or three groups who not only have the financial portfolio to buy the Bills, but who want to keep the team in Buffalo for many years to come,” Kilgore writes.

Whether that happens may depend on getting a new facility to replace Ralph Wilson Stadium, which was opened in 1973.

Still, this should be regarded as good news by Bills fans who fear that, once Ralph Wilson passes, L.A. interests will swoop-and-scoop the franchise that has resided in Buffalo since the AFL launched in 1960.

51 responses to “Report: Buffalo buyers quietly preparing for chance to acquire Bills

  1. If I were a Bills fan I would be happy about this piece of news. However, get ready for increased taxes and PSL’s to build a new stadium for the new owner.

  2. Must suck when when you read about what people plan on doing with your property after you die. Id be a spiteful SOB and leave the team and my fortune to my butler..

  3. I’ve been calling for an NFL return to Southern California ever since the Wicked Witch of the NFC West absconded with “my” team, but I’d hate for it to be this one. Just about everything I’ve read about Buffalo indicates that this is one of those situations where the team is so integrated into the community that losing it would be a devastating blow to their cultural identity.

  4. People in Buffalo are great. Maybe the best city I have ever visited. I always wish the best for them and their Bills.

  5. When that happens they will move to L.A. (once a new stadium is built) and be re-named the L.A. Bills, which is a good name for them considering the state of California has huge budget deficits and has trouble paying their bills.

  6. All we can do is hope that the buyer is Jim Kelly and his group!! Kelly will keep the beloved bills at home in Buffalo where they belong!!! Go Bills!!!

  7. Hope the team is able to stay in upstate NY. NFL needs to remember some of the diehard fans in the mid-markets which got them to #1. Putting all your eggs on the coast(s) in a sense ignores a large percentage of the population.

  8. I’m glad there are groups that want to keep the Bills where they belong, in Buffalo! As a Browns fan, that’s the last thing I’d want to see another rust belt city go through! I remember when the Bills had a Cleveland Browns day, during the time the Browns were on hiatas.

  9. One of the GOAT when it comes to the AFL/NFL. I for one hope his tenure as the only owner in Buffalo Bills history continues for years to come. When he does move on to greener pasture I truly hope a leader will emerge to keep the team in Buffalo.

  10. Report: Snivelling Joe Banner quietly sucking up to the potential new owners to become the obnoxious face of the new ownership, and ride their coattails for 15 years.

  11. If the Bills don’t stay in Buffalo, I believe Toronto would be the best location. At least the die hard Bills fans would still be able to watch their favourite team.

  12. The right thing to do would be for Mr. Wilson to sell when he IS alive….ensure the team stays in Buffalo…and helps get the stadium built. Avoid the unnecessary mess of dealing with an estate.

  13. hedleykow says: Jun 15, 2012 2:54 PM
    Maybe the best city I have ever visited. I always wish the best for them and their Bills.
    The only good thing about visiting buffalo is the moment you leave.

  14. Good blad to see the bills stay. Nothing means more to a blue collar town like them like football. Would be like the steelers, browns (again), or green bay (town owns) leaving their cities. Would be a shame for blue collar towns lose teams. Then football would really be about money and not “for the love of the game”

  15. This is only news to non bills fans, this talk has been going on since the late 90’s waiting for Ralph to kick the bucket. Maybe he lives to 110 and in 17 years we will see if this report is correct !

  16. There is a football team in SoCal. They’re called the Chargers. Their first season of existence was spent in LA if I remember right. For tradition and not alienating fan bases (no matter how small or large) the Chargers should move to LA. Or be like the old Pack and play half the games in LA and the other half in San Diego.

  17. The only good thing about visiting buffalo is the moment you leave

    ironically, i say the same thing when I drop your mom off after the airport…

  18. itssocoldinthed says: Here’s hoping the Bills stay in Buffalo. Jags to LA is the only viable option out of respect to tradition in my humble opinion

    Actually, the Los Angeles Rams has a bit more of a “traditional” ring to it, no?

  19. saintsfan26 says:
    Jun 15, 2012 3:43 PM
    Send the Rams back to L.A., send the Cardinals back to St. Louis, send the Jaguars to Arizona. Problem solved
    That would be Rams to Cleveland and Cardinals to Chicago. Try reading a book sometime.

  20. There are always comments about the Jags moving on every stadium or ownership issue article. But one poster just took the prize for stupidest poster in the world. Jags to Arizona? The dummy comment of all time. Go check ticket sales for the NFL. It sure is a nice stadium in zona that is what like 6 years old? Let me help you dummy and all of you pay attention. Arizona sold almost an avg of 62k fans and at 96% capacity. Jacksonville sold over 63k and was almost 93% capacity. St lou is at 56k and 86% capacity. If st lou loses a team NOBODY is going back. The teams that MIGHT move to LA would be Raiders, Rams. Other teams are having ticket sales issues too but Bengals and Tampa probably are going nowhere. Stop with the Jags to LA stuff it is old. Just like the vikings to LA stuff got old. Untarped the stadium in Jax is 80k. Used to sell out when they were winning. It has been years but you don’t move teams that can sell tickets.

  21. saintsfan26 says: Send the Rams back to L.A., send the Cardinals back to St. Louis, send the Jaguars to Arizona. Problem solved

    godzilla111111 says: That would be Rams to Cleveland and Cardinals to Chicago. Try reading a book sometime.


    OK. The Cardinals go back to Chicago. What happens to the Bears? Since there’s no precedent for two NFC teams sharing a stadium, do they have to go back to Wriggly Field? Or do they leave Chicago altogether? I vaguely recall that they were originally from a suburb of the city.

    And the Rams go back to Cleveland. Clearly, the Browns are going to have to go, since Cleveland can’t support two teams. The question is where? Are we sending them to Los Angeles? It has a nice symmetry; Cleveland gets it original team back, and L.A. gets the “expansion” team.

    . . . I fear we may be drifting from the original direction of this thread 🙂

  22. Keep the Bills in Buffalo. Historic franchises belong to their cities. Cities with disloyal fanbases should lose their teams, not those that truly love the team and see a new owner snatch up the team and leave.

  23. What they need to do is move the team half way between Rochester and Buffalo, tons of open space, and it would encourage a lot more attendance. A lot of people from Rochester already go to the game, now you could add Syracuse by moving it from the far west side of buffalo to east of buffalo

  24. This conversation has been taking place for 20 years. Literally 20 years. I hope Ralph lives to be 105 at least. So they can talking about it for 35 years.

  25. The day the Bills move to another city is the last day I watch theNFL. Roger Goodell is a native to Western New York, born in Jamestown, NY. And will never let let the Bills move to another city!

  26. Just move to Toronto, you’ll still have all your fans close by. The jags are coming to LA, brother.

  27. This is why the Bills will not leave Buffalo anytime soon.

    The Bills and Erie County officials are working toward a new lease that, depending on the language of the final document, could make it so expensive to move the team that only buyers intent on keeping the franchise where it is will make offers for the team, once Wilson’s lifetime ends.  Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tells the Associated Press that a basic agreement on a new lease could be reached by the end of July.

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