The news that a Toronto-based group looking at buying the Buffalo Bills had a stadium feasibility study done in greater Toronto had rankled a lot of feathers stateside.
The Associated Press broke the news that the group, led by Jon Bon Jovi and Maple Leaf Sports, had the study done at sites in southern Ontario. That news contradicts word that came out earlier in the week that the group would not move the team if its bid to buy the Bills wins.
Bills fans who were already distrusting of the Toronto group seemingly had their fears confirmed. Among them is Robert Duffy, New York's lieutenant governor.
"Note to prospective owners: BUFFALO Bills. Don't pick this fight," he said on Twitter. "The Buffalo Bills are the only true New York state team. It would be a public relations disaster for any new owner to consider the move … I feel/understand the passion for our Buffalo Bills. They are part of the fabric of Western New York. They need to stay."
The news comes on the eve of the next step in the sales process. The banking firm handling the sale has set a 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline for prospective owners to submit their initial bids. The firm will then pick a handful of finalists to proceed, with the process possibly wrapping up for the NFL's owners to approve this fall.
Among the known bidders are Donald Trump, former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano and current Sabres owner Terry Pegula. Pegula leased out a floor of One Seneca Tower, Buffalo's tallest building, this past week for his Pegula Sports & Entertainment company.
The team's been valued at about $870 million by Forbes, but expectations are for the Bills' sales price to exceed $1 billion.
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Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Donald Trump, Football, Jon Bon Jovi, NFL, Terry Pegula, Tom Golisano