Terry Pegula has gobs of money. Obscene amounts. So when he purchased the Buffalo Sabres in 2011, fans were excited for a future where big-name free agents could be lured with a nice salary. The plan hasn’t worked out that way just yet, as the franchise is currently in the middle of a rebuild.
Meanwhile, the other major professional sports team in Buffalo, the Bills, have been stuck treading water since the end of the 1990s, otherwise known as their glory days. Franchise founder Ralph Wilson passed away in March and Pegula’s name has surfaced as the team searches for a new owner.
The Bills most recently were valued by Forbes at $870 million but are expected to sell for at least $1 billion, partly because NFL teams rarely go on the market.
Because the sale process is private, Morgan Stanley will not make names of would-be buyers public. The firm will review the initial non-binding bids and is expected within the next week to determine which groups may progress to the next stage of bidding.
Morgan Stanley, the bank overseeing the sale on behalf of Wilson's estate, could have the franchise's new owner lined up by the end of August, in time for NFL owners to vote on approval at the league meetings in October.
Pegula faces some competition for the franchise in rock star Jon Bon Jovi, who’s partnering with Rogers, and Donald Trump, who are are understood to have been a part of the first round of bidding. The Sabres owner has previously expressed interest in keeping the football team in Buffalo.
If Pegula wants to curry even more favor with the residents of Buffalo, he should just follow Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Bill Andre Reed's lead in denouncing the competition.
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