What do Donald Trump, Jon Bon Jovi, and Jim Kelly have in common? All of their names have come up as prospective buyers of the Buffalo Bills, as reported by The Associated Press.
The future of the Bills has been up in the air following the death of owner Ralph Wilson. His wishes to sell the team rather than pass it on to his family opened the doors for many potential buyers (Erie County deputy executive Richard Tobe told the AP there could be as many as 10) and also made relocating the team a possibility. Buffalo is the NFL’s second-smallest market.
Trump, who has been very vocal about wanting to own the Bills, has said that he would keep the team in Buffalo. Jim Kelly, whose brother Dan Kelly said he would still actively pursue purchasing the team despite his battle with sinus cancer, spent his entire NFL career with the Bills. One could assume Kelly would also keep the team in Buffalo.
Bon Jovi is the biggest question of the three. Bon Jovi is linked to Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which controls the Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. If the two were to purchase the Bills, they would have to move the team to Toronto, as NFL ownership rules do not allow owners to control other major sports teams in separate markets. However, relocating the team under the terms of its current 10-year lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium would incur a $400 million penalty.
Formal bidding for the Bills will begin once Wilson’s estate hires a firm to reassess the value of the franchise and oversee negotiation.
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