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Former Buffalo Sabres Owner Tom Golisano Set to Make Bid for Buffalo Bills

May 24th, 2014 at 11:45 AM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

Former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano is apparently set to make a bid to purchase the Buffalo Bills.

Golisano's interest was reported by the Toronto Sun. He's been linked to the Bills since his time with the Sabres, during which he said he would do what he could to keep the Bills in Buffalo should they ever go up for sale.

'Three stars of the game ...' photo (c) 2011, grilled cheese - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Golisano bought the Sabres out of bankruptcy in March 2003 for $62 million. Former owner John Rigas was imprisoned for fraud in the wake of the scandal involving his cable company, Adelphia Communications, which forced the team into league hands for a while.

Under Golisano, the Sabres emerged from the NHL basement to reach two straight Eastern Conference finals and win a Presidents Trophy in 2006-07. But Golisano proved unprepared for the free agency of his star players after that success, and the team has yet to come close to matching it after the likes of Chris Drury and Daniel Briere left for greener pastures.

Golisano ultimately sold the team in 2011 to Terry Pegula for around $189 million. That more than offset the $32 million Forbes reported he lost in running the team from 2004-2010.

With an estimated worth of $2 billion, Golisano would seem to be in a position to make a solo for the Bills, who are worth around $870 million, according to Forbes. But he may enter the bidding process with at one other investor, the Sun reported.

Other parties reported to be interested in the team include Donald Trump, Jim Kelly the Jacobs family that runs Delaware North and a Toronto-based group that includes Jon Bon Jovi. The Bills picked financial and lawfirms this past week to handle the team's sale, which is necessary due to the death of Ralph Wilson Jr. earlier this year. Those firms will contact prospective buyers within the next month to begin the process.

Golisano, originally from Rochester, is the founder of the Paychex payroll processing firm. He now lives in Florida.

Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Chris Drury, Daniel Briere, Donald Trump, Hockey, Jim Kelly, NHL, Terry Pegula, Tom Golisano

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