The Buffalo Bill may have a new frontrunner in the competition to buy the team.
Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula is reportedly interested in purchasing the city’s only other professional sports team, and sources say he is reorganizing his business holdings in order to make a winning bid.
Pegula purchased the Sabres in 2011, buying it from then-owner Tom Golisano and vowing to keep the team in Buffalo. As an owner of the Bills he is expected to make the same commitment, easing the minds of fans worried that an new owner could try to move the team to either Los Angeles or Toronto.
But to make a successful bid, Pegula would have to top offers from a number of interested parties, Golisano included. Others expressing interest in buying the Buffalo Bills include real estate mogul Donald Trump and rocker Bon Jovi, who would likely look to move them north of the border to Toronto.
Many believe that Pegula has the potential to make the highest bid, and his actions in recent days seem to hint at it.
The Buffalo News reported:
Sources have told The Buffalo News that Pegula’s wife, Kim, has taken a more active role in running their various companies, including Pegula Sports and Entertainment, and they recently reassigned Sabres employees to the fledgling sports-management group.
When Pegula took over the Sabres in 2011, he told reporters that he was not concerned about using the team to make money, saying that if it was money he wanted he could just sell some oil derricks.
That is exactly what Pegula did this week, selling drilling acreage in West Virginia and Ohio for $1.75 billion. The cash would give Pegula the resources to make a winning bid for the Buffalo Bills.
The two most recent NFL teams to sell were the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguar, for $1.05 billion and $760 million respectively. It’s likely that if Terry Pegula were to buy the Buffalo Bills, the price tag could be pushed a bit higher, especially given the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion skewing the professional sports market.