The Buffalo Bills rumors that emerged Tuesday night were great news for fans hoping that the team stays in Western New York.
Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula, who has been committed to the region and would almost assuredly keep the Bills in Buffalo long-term, was reportedly the dominant bidder in the first, early phase of the purchase process for the team. Interested parties had to turn in their initial bids on Tuesday at 5 p.m., and reports indicated that Pegula’s bid topped $1 billion.
The Buffalo Bills were valued at around $800 million, many experts predicted that the sale price would easily reach $1 billion or more. Pegula’s dominant bid may keep the team out of the hands of Jon Bon Jovi and his Toronto-based group of investors, who have reported been studying sites around Toronto to relocate the team at the end of its 10-year lease.
The reports have led to a widespread backlash against Bon Jovi in Buffalo, with bars banning his music and even Hall of Fame wide receiver Andre Reed speaking out.
“Man, f–k Bon Jovi,” said Reed, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend. “You might as well just take this city, throw it in the river, and let it go down Niagara Falls.”
There were some other surprising Buffalo Bills rumors to emerge on Tuesday. Though preliminary information was sent to more than 60 potential bidders, reports indicated that by the Tuesday deadline only three bids were received — Pegula, Bon Jovi, and Donald Trump. But even Trump has discounted his chance of winning the team.
The surprise was a lack of interest from Tom Golisano, the former Buffalo Sabres owner who had expressed an interst in buying the team.
Buffalo Bills fans likely hope the Terry Pegula rumors are true. The Sabres owner has become beloved in the city, both for his commitment to keeping the professional sports franchises in town but also his own personal investment. Pegula is spending $172 million of his own money on a downtown Harbor Center, which will have a hockey complex along with retail space and hotels.