Bon Jovi would keep Bills in Buffalo
BUFFALO (TSX) — A Toronto investment group led by rock star Jon Bon Jovi would not plan to move the Buffalo Bills out of western New York if it buys the team, according to the Toronto Sun.
The Bills were put on the market after Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson died in March. The franchise was recently valued at $870 million by Forbes. The team is expected to be sold for at least $1 billion.
Bon Jovi’s group has reportedly been saying privately and plans to inform the trust managing the sale of the Bills that it will not relocate the team.
Aside from Bon Jovi, the group also includes Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment chairman Larry Tanenbaum and the Rogers family. Tanenbaum controls the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors. The Rogers family includes Edward Rogers, who is deputy chairman of Rogers, the large Toronto communications company.
If the group buys the Bills, Bon Jovi, Tanenbaum and the Rogers family would each own a one-third of the team, but Bon Jovi would be the principle owner.
Bon Jovi’s group is on a list of prospective buyers who have submitted a nondisclosure agreement form to Morgan Stanley, the banking firm in charge of the team’s sale. It retained the Goldman Sachs banking firm to assist in its bid.
Donald Trump and Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula are also listed as potential buyers.
Bon Jovi has expressed interest in owning an NFL team but has never specifically mentioned the Bills. He discussed his interest during a restaurant meeting in June with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, according to the Associated Press.
Bon Jovi also received support from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones earlier this year.
The Bills are locked in to play at Ralph Wilson Stadium through the 2019 season due to terms of a 2010 lease agreement.