A prominent downstate real estate developer has expressed interest in buying the Buffalo Bills. That comes as word has leaded that the new owner, whether it be him or someone else, will be known to the public before the end of summer.
Multiple media reports have Howard Milstien tied to the ongoing talk of the team's eventual sale. He joins a list that includes fellow mogul Donald Trump, the Jacobs family that owns Delaware North, former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano and former Bills Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas.
Milstein has ties to the Buffalo region. He owns more than 100 acres of mostly undeveloped land just outside of Niagara Falls State Park in Niagara Falls. He's paid taxes on the land for more than a decade but otherwise has done little with it, adding to speculation that he might buy the team and/or try to build a new stadium in Niagara Falls for the team.
Talks about the team playing in Niagara Falls have taken place, but it's not confirmed that those talks center around Milstein's property. Sources have confirmed, however, his interest in buying the team and keeping it in Buffalo.
This would not be his first foray into professional sports. He owned the New York Islanders in the late-1990s and had a bid to buy the Washington Redskins blocked. He also bid for the Cleveland Browns when they re-entered the NFL as an expansion team in the late 1990s.
Milstein lives near New York City and owns numerous properties there. He also has business interests in the golf, financial and technology sectors. He's also head of the New York State Thruway Authority.
He – or whomever wins the derby to buy the Bills – should become known to the public within 90 days. That's according to an Associated Press
report citing inside sources indicating as much. The sale should be done by July, with the NFL
owners approving it in October. ONe group has already toured the Buffalo
region examining stadium sites, the report said.
The team remains in a trust under the control of Mary Wilson, widow of Ralph Wilson Jr. She's said she will sell when she finds the time is right. The team's been valued at nearly $900 billion by Forbes.
, Buffalo Bills
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, Ralph Wilson Jr.