WITH THE RECENT passing of owner Ralph Wilson, the Buffalo Bills will be put up for sale and Jon Bon Jovi and Donald Trump are among those interested in purchasing the NFL franchise.
Bon Jovi is part of a Toronto-based group that is expected to bid for the Bills with the intention of eventually moving the team north of the border to become the NFL’s first Canadian franchise according to the Toronto Sun.
However, the Bills’ lease with Erie County does not allow the team to move until at least 2020.
Behind only Los Angeles, Toronto is the second-largest North American city without an NFL team and has hosted one Bills game every year since 2008. However, attendance at Bills games in Toronto has declined in recent years and the series will not be played in 2014.
Donald Trump has also thrown his name into the mix and insists that he will “give it a heavy shot” to purchase the Bills according to the Buffalo News.
Trump, the former owner of the New Jersey Generals of the now-defunct USFL ,also makes it clear that he would keep the team in Buffalo as that would make it more convenient for him, living in New York.
With a reported net worth of $3.9 billion, Trump may be able to afford the price tag, which will likely approach $1.0 billion. The NFL’s strict ownership rules require ownership groups include at least one person who owns at least 30% of the team.
Unlike Trump, speculation is that Bon Jovi would not be able to pass the 30% rule which would mean he would not be the controlling owner.
NFL teams are among the most valuable sports franchises in the world with an average value of $1.1 billion according to the latest valuations by Forbes.com. The Bills are valued at $870 million.