December 20, 2014
Bon Jovi part of group eyeing Bills
AP Sports Writer (*)
It is unclear if the group would eventually want to move the team across the border to Toronto, which would give Canada its first team in the National Football League. The club is on the market after Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson died in March.
The three people spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is private and the Toronto group has not revealed its intentions.
The group includes Larry Tanenbaum and the Rogers family. Tanenbaum is chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which controls the NHL’s Maple Leafs and NBA’s Raptors. The Rogers family includes Edward Rogers, who is deputy chairman of Rogers, the Toronto communications giant.
The group is on a list of prospective buyers who have submitted a non-disclosure agreement form to Morgan Stanley, the banking firm overseeing the Bills sale.
The Toronto group has retained the Goldman Sachs banking firm to assist in the bid. Bon Jovi previously expressed interest in owning an NFL franchise but never specifically mentioned the Bills.
This is the first real indication linking him to Tanenbaum and Rogers. One of the people confirmed that Bon Jovi discussed his interests during a restaurant meeting last month with the NFL Commissioner.
The Bills most recently were valued by Forbes at 870 million dollars.
They are projected to be sold for at least one 1 billion, partly because NFL teams rarely go on the market.
The team is essentially locked into playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium through the 2019 season because of a strict non-relocation clause included in a 10-year lease agreement reached with the state and county in December 2012.