Jon Bon Jovi has turned into quite the villain among Buffalo Bills fans.
The rocker has expressed interest in buying the team, and reports say he and his Toronto-based group of investors would relocate the team out of Buffalo and north of the border. The Bills are up for sale following the March death of owner Ralph Wilson.
The revelation has turned the blue-collar rocker into persona non grata in Buffalo, itself a working man’s town that loves its football above all else. This week that hatred was on display at a recent festival, when an unwitting cover band launched into a version of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer.”
The crowd responded with a shower of boos, showing just how deep the distaste for Jon Bon Jovi runs among Bills fans.
Several other Buffalo radio stations have joined in the Bon Jovi ban, including Jack FM and its sister station. The boycott will last until it becomes clear that Bon Jovi either loses out on the team’s bidding or chooses not to re-locate.
Mickey Rats Beach Club even hosted a party this weekend with the radio stations to promote the boycott.
While sources close to Bon Jovi said he doesn’t intend to move the team, his actions say otherwise. His potential ownership group recently conducted a feasibility study about buying an NFL franchise and building a stadium in Toronto.
“We have undertaken engineering and design studies,” wrote Andy Bergmann, co-founder of Toronto-based Wessex Capital Partners, a firm that specializes in architecture, design, and engineering services. “All of our work has been about a generic site and whether it was more rural or urban. We are aware of potential sites in the western NY and southern Ontario region, and are in fact meeting with two Buffalo area developers next week.
“No feasibility studies have been undertaken on any site to date.”
If Jon Bon Jovi wants the Toronto Bills, he may need to open deep into his pockets. There are several other potential bidders, including real estate mogul Donald Trump and Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula, who just made $1.4 billion from selling oil-producing property.