Report: Bon Jovi, Goodell had business lunch on Thursday

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A day after the Buffalo Bills officially commenced the process of selling the team, one of the most prominent suitors reportedly had a lengthy lunch with the man who steers the NFL’s ship.

According to Ian Mohr and Stephanie Smith of the New York Post, Jon Bon Jovi and Commissioner Roger Goodell spent two hours at lunch on Thursday.

“They were definitely talking business,” an unnamed source told the Post.  “Jon was taking notes — he had a pen and paper with him at the table.”

Bills fans undoubtedly hope that the notes Bon Jovi took included advice from Goodell that, if Bon Jovi’s group intends to move the Bills to Toronto, he should give up now.

While there may be potential buyers who’d try to move the franchise to L.A., Bills fans bristle at the possibility of any relocation, even a fairly close move to Toronto.    Several expected bidders would keep the team in Buffalo.  Ultimately, the question is whether those bid will be better than the bids made by those who would want to move the team.

61 responses to “Report: Bon Jovi, Goodell had business lunch on Thursday

  1. Is Bon Jovi completely oblivious to reality? He would be the most hated man in Buffalo if he bought the team. And God help him if he moves the team, he will need around the clock security. Bon, this one isn’t the one. You’re just living on a prayer.

  2. He would be the perfect owner for the Bills. Every year they start with great expectations then go “Down in a Blaze of Glory”

  3. Yes, they did…………it was a breakup lunch with Goodell telling Bon Jovi that the only way he can put in a bid is if the Bills remain in Western New York. Bye, bye Bon Jovi………go buy a soccer team.

  4. You would think the team could sell for more if they are open to moving, so I don’t think there is any question that the bids won’t be as strong for the prospective owners that want to keep the team in Buffalo.

    But I thought it was already decided that the current ownership wasn’t going to sell out and that they were happy to walk away from potentially many hundreds of millions of dollars more in order to make the fans in Buffalo happy. They must really love the Buffalo people, or hate the people of wherever they think the team would move.

  5. If Bon Jovi thinks he’s buying an NFL team, he is living on a prayer. That would be a shot through the heart with bad medicine if that happened, and Goodell would have to runaway too, because he’d be wanted dead or alive!

  6. Bon Jovi stands to lose just as much as he would gain by continuing with this process. He gets to minority owner of a team with a fanbase that will absolutely punch him if they get the chance. There are a lot of Bills fans in Toronto, and the vast majority of them have said they would not go to Bills games in Canada. Thats why the Toronto series sold about 30,000 tickets last year. And the American side fans wont deal with the boarder security and the drive. There is no fanbase in Toronto for an NFL team. Moving any franchise there will turn out about as well as an LA move would. Lots of ad money but no fans. Lets also mention all the work visas that would need to be cleared. Any NFL player with a criminal conviction would essentially be barred from the team. If a player pulled what a player on any other team pulls on a weekly basis, he instantly loses access to his job.

    No football in Toronto, BILLS BELONG IN BUFFALO!

  7. I’d be prouder to say that I owned the Philadelphia Soul than the Buffalo Bills if I was him.

  8. He can discuss all he wants about the team. If Pegula and Golisano teams up, then his group will not have the firepower to persuade Mary Wilson or the trustees to sell the team to them. He will have to completely blow them away with an offer. Whereas, Pegula/Golisano wants to keep the team in Buffalo. Not to mention Pegula just made $1.73B in cold hard cash with the sale of his land that is rich in Natural Gas.

  9. It’s no secret the Bon Jovi is tight with MLSE (They even buttered him up by hoisting his picture up to the rafters of their hockey rink, like you would retire a hockey number). The long and the short of it is, anyone who thinks the Bills (or anyone else) is moving to Toronto is living on a prayer.

    Firstly, the Canadian dollar devalues your gate revenues. Sure, things are rosy now while the Canadian dollar is within 10 cents of the US dollar. But when it drops to 60 cents, you’re sunk (when it makes more sense to move your hockey team from Winnipeg to Pheonix because the exchange rate makes it too expensive). Yes, I know an NFL team breaks even before they spend a penny, thanks to revenue sharing but the gate is a big chunk of the profit for a owner. And if an owner can make more money in Buffalo than in Toronto, the team will stay in Buffalo.

    Secondly, and more importantly, there is no stadium that a team could play in full time. The Skydome isn’t new enough or large enough to support an NFL team. And given the massive debt the province of Ontario is carrying and given that there is no appetite to fund stadiums on the federal level, there won’t be public money for a new building.

    Finally, there is a significant portion of people in Southern Ontario who would prefer to go to games in Buffalo anyway. Spend a night in Niagra Falls, drink your face off, gamble, spend some quality time with your buddies at the Sundowner… Get up the next morning, check out of the hotel, go to a stadium where you can actually tailgate (and drink your face off some more) then get home in time to help the missus put the kids to bed and catch the 8 o’clock game. The gameday experience at the Ralph is just flat out better than Skydome.

    Yes, they may do a couple of home games a year in Toronto (although, that is even suspect given the games stopped selling out) but regardless of who owns the team, Toronto just doesn’t make sense.

  10. No matter who buys the team, the Bills are outta there first chance. I imagine that the owner will even let the City of Buffalo keep the team name and records.(You can use the name for the CFL expansion team you’ll end up with).

  11. All these tough guy Bills fans and Jim Kelly who spurned the Bills and went to play for the USFL. Please. Deepest pocket wins.

  12. Bills in Toronto, not happening. With all the numerous obstacles, I think it would be difficult to get 24 of the 32 owners on board to approve this. No stadium suitable in Toronto and Bon Jovi etc would have to pay for the new stadium as PSL’s won’t work in the Toronto market. In addition, who would support this team for six years in Buffalo if they knew the franchise would eventually be moving to Toronto. It would be a disaster that the NFL doesn’t need.

  13. The wealthiest groups bidding are all in WNY (Pegula, Golisano). The Bon Jovi group can’t afford it nor are they able to break the ironclad lease. There is less than a 2% chance that the Bills leave WNY. Bon Jovi has even committed to keeping the team in WNY and the other Toronto groups have backed out.

  14. As a long time Bills fan ( This coming season will be my 50th year) I can’t believe all the young whippersnappers who don’t know the history of the Bills (or the NFL for that matter) They think because a team goes through a rough patch that they were always bad. The Bills won championships in the 60’s, were very competitive in the 70’s with the OJ teams, in the early 80’s they had the Joe Ferguson/ Fred Smerlas teams,
    late 80’s the Kelly/Thomas/Reed/ Bruce Smith teams were outstanding into the late 90’s. The Bills have put together a strong roster now and are ready to make a series of playoffs. Teams like the Patriots, Seattle, Broncos, Saints and Packers all had their down years. It’s cyclical, watch long enough and your team will be down. Stick with them, the winning will be so much sweeter.

  15. God help the city of Buffalo if Bon Jovi buys the Bills, especially if the fans are subjected to him playing at halftime of every home game.

  16. if bon jovi succeeds then you’ll see an empty ralph stadium for the next five years and a boycott would ensue. this guy wouldn’t be able to show his face in public anymore without a backlash from the fans. of course if his group fails then you’ll see this clown claiming he never wanted to move the team if he had won.

  17. All of you out of town NFL’ers on this blog no nothing. The lease is ironclad as is the terms of the sale set up by the late Ralph Wilson. Throw in Governor Cuomo and Senator Schumer who are also refusing to let another NFL team leave the state of NY…….its is also well known around here that Bon Blovi -Pop Music does not have the money and Pegula/Golisano, the most likely candidates have already said they will keep the team in Buffalo…..

  18. No shot the Bills are leaving WNY. There are plenty of buyers in WNY that have deep enough pockets that want to keep them in Buffalo. Goodell is from WNY and will not allow this to happen. Also, some of the most influential NFL owners including Robert Craft claim they will not vote for a sale that re-locates the Bills. Not to mention that Ralph put together a small group of people that must approve the sale as well. This includes his wife Mary, a long-time top executive for the Bills and his lawyer. None of which prefer the Bills to leave WNY. Even though the Bills have been struggling for 10 years or so they are still very profitable and most people agree are good for the NFL. Most people can appreciate a community that is hard working, down to earth “regular” people. Similar to Green Bay, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Minnesota just to name a few. Teams like Jacksonville, San Diego and Miami should be first to move somewhere. Great cities, but a large part of their populations are transplants that already root for a team where they are from. Therefore, they struggle to fill their stadiums. Let’s face it, not many people transplant to Buffalo. We are all born and bred here. I can speak for myself and say I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in America!!

  19. I feel sorry for all these Bills fans who are going to see their team move North, but this has been planned for a long time.

    The Bills are headed to Toronto. Get used to it.

  20. This has been planned for a long time (moving the team to Toronto). I have been an NFL and CFL fan for 4 decades. Year after year this conversation comes up, but an NFL franchise hasn’t come to Toronto. What is different this time. If anything, it is less likely now after the embaressment of the Bills in Toronto series. Typical Toronto fan- we deserve a team. No you don’t. You don’t support the CFL and you showed no interest in the Bills games held in Toronto. Get over it.

  21. So JBJ went crying to Goodell because he probably didn’t get a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) from the Bills like Pegula, Golisano and Trump.

    There are legalities in place so the Bills won’t move and the Trust decides who’s bid they accept. The Trust may also have prerequisites for bids, like not moving the team.

  22. youngs79 says:
    Jun 20, 2014 9:01 AM

    Why would Bon Jovi move it to Toronto?


    Bon Jovi is the FRONT MAN for MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment) with which Larry Tannenbaum is already connected. They own the Leafs, the Raptors and the Toronto soccer team. So if they were to get the team, it would go to Toronto, regardless of any promises
    they make now.

    MLSE has very deep pockets, and could likely outbid any of the local Buffalo billionaires, if they want to overpay, and also want to build a stadium with no public funds, to have six years of empty seats at the Ralph until they can move it, and with an unenthusiastic fan base in Toronto which would support an expansion team, or a team that came from far away, like San Diego, but which isn’t crazy about stealing the team from a neighbour city that supports their team now.

    What I don’t understand is why the Bon Jovi bid is even ELIGIBLE. It’s so obviously an MLSE front — and that’s CORPORATE OWNERSHIP, which the NFL expressly forbids.

  23. I’d like to see the new owner change the name of the team to the Buffalo Redskins. Hey, since it doesn’t have trademark protection…

  24. Im a life long Bills fan living on the West Coast. As much as I’d love to have season tickets to the Bills, I can’t imagine them being anywhere other than Buffalo. If they can get back to being a winning franchise, theres no question they can be viable in Western New York. I hope their new owner can realize that.

  25. The fans can ‘bristle’ all they want but if they are having trouble selling tickets AND the Willson’s hold out for top dollar the Bills are gone.

  26. Am I the only one who finds it hilarious that by using exageration and wishful thinking delusional Bills fans have morphed the fact that Roger Goddell was born 70 miles south of Buffalo into the myth that he was born and raised a Bills fan and that they cling to this as a reason that the Bills will never be allowed move from Buffalo?

  27. I really miss Ralph Wilson. I miss the comfort of knowing my team is staying in Buffalo and going 6-10 for the season. That said, I am confident our new owner is going to keep the team in Buffalo. It’s where and what type of new stadium thats the big mystery for Buffalo fans. I hope they put downtown with all the other waterfront development going on….

  28. Mary there is a reason your father kept the team in Buffalo…..because he loved the hard working fans of Buffalo and the city itself. Honor your father’s belief in the city by doing the right thing!

  29. jpaq68 says:Jun 20, 2014 1:50 PM

    Am I the only one who finds it hilarious that by using exageration and wishful thinking delusional Bills fans have morphed the fact that Roger Goddell was born 70 miles south of Buffalo into the myth that he was born and raised a Bills fan and that they cling to this as a reason that the Bills will never be allowed move from Buffalo?
    No, I find it very hilarious that you are a Jags fan, but find the time to post in the local Buffalo News sportspage under the same name. If I were you, I would worry about saving up enough money for airfare when your Jags play their home games in London next year.

  30. Here’s an idea: new owner fleeces both markets for reasonable stadium upgrades (not rebuilds) and plays 4 games a year in each. Call them the “Buffalo/Toronto Bills”.


  31. Everyone knows that Bon Jovi isn’t a a Bill. He’s a Cowboy. On a pale horse he rides.

  32. The Bills are the third least valuable team at 870 million dollars.

    If someone could buy them and move them to Toronto, their value would move the team into the top half of the league in terms of value overnight.

    Roger Goodell is all about expanding the global appeal of American football in other countries. To be able to set up shop in CFL land would be a dream for the NFL.

    The NFL’s dream:

    Toronto Bills, Rogers Centre
    Mexico City Cardinals, Estadio Azteca
    London Jaguars, 2012 Summer Olympic Stadium

  33. As a small business owner, I can tell you that……….”Business Lunch” = power meeting at the local strip club

  34. Toronto Argos fan here.

    Buffalo should keep the Bills.

    Toronto is a hockey town, not a sports town.

  35. I don’t know why you Bill’s fans are getting all excited. There is no way the league will approve the sale unless the team stays in Buffalo , period.

  36. The fact is that the NFL is all about money, Jon Bon Jovi wants to own a team and this is his chance. I believe that he could run a successful team but there is too much politics. If he moves the team the fans will mutiny, but his backers are from Canada. I don’t know if he will achieve the sale. Either the Bills stay as they are or change and have a chance to reinvent themselves. His goal is for them to win the Superbowl. Change is inevitable now. Donald Trump only wants the team as another dollar sign on his tax return. This has been his dream for years only time will tell if he gets the sale.

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