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Report: Sabres owner Pegula makes bid for NFL’s Bills

Jul 29, 2014, 9:02 PM EDT

Tuesday afternoon was the deadline for prospective buyers to submit their “indication of interest” for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and, according to the Buffalo News, Sabres owner Terry Pegula officially threw his hat into the ring.

Pegula, who made his fortune in the natural gas industry, purchased the Sabres in February 2011 and was immediately lauded for his spend-happy ways. Buffalo made huge splashes in his first free agent period as owner, inking Christian Ehrhoff and Ville Leino for a combined $67 million (Pegula would later sign off on compliance buyouts for both players.)

The 63-year-old’s foray into the sporting world wasn’t limited to just the NHL, however. A Penn State alumnus, Pegula donated $100 million to construct an on-campus facility — the Pegula Ice Arena — which opened in 2013 and currently houses the Nittany Lions’ hockey team.

As for Pegula’s interest in the Bills, here’s how the remainder of the process will play out, per USA Today:

The Bills’ trust will analyze the field and select a certain number of those initial bids. Those groups, or bidders, will then be able to gain access to more information about the team and move forward in the process.

Sports business expert and analyst Marc Ganis of the Chicago-based firm, Sportscorp, says this is a process which allows for the Bills to gain more access to the bidders’ financials as well. He says at the end of the day, the Trust will make their decision based on who is the “best top bid”.

“You will typically whittle the groups down to those that you think are the most serious, have the greatest ability and are going to pay the highest the highest price. And that last is really important.”

The Bills fanchise is for sale following the death in March of owner Ralph Wilson. It’s believed real estate mogul Donald Trump and musician Jon Bon Jovi have spearheaded groups that also put forth bids.

  1. elrock7 - Jul 29, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    Might as well own 2 crappy Buffalo teams.

    • jernster21 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:20 AM

      Except the NFL prohibits cross team ownership in other leagues. Seems they’ve made exceptions, however. Kroenke owns the St. Louis Rams but gave ownership interest of the Avs and Nuggets to his son, Josh. Have to imagine he’s still writing the checks though so it probably won’t matter if Pegula owns two teams in the same city.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:46 AM

        The cross ownership rule only comes into play if you own teams in a different market that already has an NFL team, so Kroenke has to transfer ownership of the Denver teams to relatives (basically a shell game). Pegula is fine owning both the Sabres and Bills and technically would be fine owning the Sabres and a relocated Bills team if he were inclined to do so.

        I would suspect he’ll win, the team has to stay in Buffalo for at least 5 more years and there’s no way they’ll allow the Bills to be a lame duck franchise for those 5 years.

    • shutmdownd - Jul 30, 2014 at 5:57 AM

      2 more than you could ever hope to own…

    • mjw9326mjw9326 - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:23 AM

      I would not bank on that for more than another couple years or so. Both teams are already well on the way to rebuilding, and likely will be really good in two or three seasons. If the Sabres ARE that bad this year(Likely) hopefully they get Connor McDavid and the other youngsters they have, plus the other top picks in a deep draft, then will kick the league’s butt when the kids mature.

  2. fansincebirth - Jul 29, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    Plain and simple: Dude is an animal! Love him!

  3. ecnc30 - Jul 29, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Elrock7, you are ABSOLUTELY right!!

  4. justanotherphillyfan - Jul 29, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    Buffalo Bills seriously, who made up that name?

    I bet you they have a few players like Pistol Pauly and Lucky Luke.

    • nmc1496 - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      You have heard of Buffalo Bill Cody?

  5. hockeyflow33 - Jul 29, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    That’s good news for the city of Buffalo.

  6. c9castine - Jul 29, 2014 at 11:21 PM

    donald trump is one of the biggest shhitheds in america, i would be embarrassed if he owned on of my cities teams.

    pegula on the other hand is not. bon jovi’s music is as douchey as can be but im sure hes a cool enough guy.

    • elemeno89 - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      F*** BON JOVI.

    • nmc1496 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      If Trump keeps the team in Buffalo – then I’m all for the guy. Bon Jovi is not to be trusted….

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:49 PM

        Trump is only in it to get his name in the papers, much the way he was “running” to be president. He’ll come out in a few weeks and say that all of the NFL owners were unanimous in wanting him to be the Bills owner (he also claimed the Apprentice was the number 1 rated show during it’s entire run and that every poll had him as the leading candidate for President) but for some reason he decided against buying the team.

        No one loves talking about and hearing about Donald Trump more than Donald Trump.

        I think the Rogers group (Bon Jovi is the figurehead) is being thrown out there as a bogeyman, but realistically they won’t pay $400 million to move the team in the next 5 years and Toronto doesn’t have a suitable long term stadium, and there’s very little chance they’ll be able to get public funding to finance a new stadium in Toronto. Who Bills fans should fear are groups from LA, they already have plans for a new stadium and can put the team in the Rose Bowl or Coliseum for a few years while it’s being built and those potential owners likely wouldn’t hesitate to pay the $400 million penalty because they can make it up in revenues and the amount the franchise will go up in value just by being in LA.

  7. letsgocaps88 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:50 AM

    Buffalo is a great sports town , win

    • letsgocaps88 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:53 AM

      ^Very passionate fan base even on the down years***

  8. djshnooks - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Trump already said he’s not gonna win.

    He did it all for free publicity, he’s a d-bag.

    It’s already Pegula’s team, he can outbid everyone else, and he’ll keep it in Buffalo.

  9. flyerguy73 - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    This guy obviously has more money than brains! Who in their right mind wants to be affiliated with not 1 , but 2 loser sports teams? What an idiot!

    • petersteelewannabe - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      flyerguy73, what is up your butt about Buffalo? You remind me of those ashwipe Pens fans constantly whining about Philly-all it does is make you look like they own you. As a fellow Flyer fan I respectfully ask you to knock it off.

    • c9castine - Jul 31, 2014 at 1:24 AM

      affiliated? its called owning…

      to some that means the ability to control and make friggin awesome. i dunno, maybe you just dont see yourself like that.

      in time hell have built a great organization in buffalo. some ups and downs are to be expected.

  10. flyerguy73 - Jul 30, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    Hey Peter, mind your own business. I lived in buffalo, and it was the worst place to live. The fans act like the sports gods owe them! Once a craphole, always a craphole. Why do you think everyone wants to get the heck out of there? There is nothing there for anyone. No good jobs, violence, etc. etc. That is why I hate buffalo, and the “sports teams”.

    • petersteelewannabe - Jul 30, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      My experiences in Buffalo have been very different, so I can’t relate. They have some D-bag fans, as do the Flyers and every other team for that matter but the important thing is to try to NOT be one of them.

  11. pmonte3122 - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    No jobs? You must’ve been a fryer tech at Mickey D’s

  12. zinger99 - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Yeah,those fans really do have the attitude they’re owed something. That is accurate. They’re Sabre fans. Not too bright with the history and tradition of the game.

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