"Guys, I appreciate the positivity, but I do not know any info about my family regarding the Buffalo Bills."
Pegula bought the Sabres three years ago. He quickly increased the team's payroll from $55.8 million to $65.3 million, but a lack of performance caused the team to shed payroll in 2013-14. The team ended the season having spent $57.3 and finished last in the NHL to clinch a third straight season without making the playoffs. He's also fired two coaches in that time – an unheard-of move for a team that had held the same coach, Lindy Ruff, for 15 years – and shed General Manager Darcy Regier in an attempt to change the culture around the team.
His bigger contributions may have come off the ice. He purchased land across from the First Niagara Center to build the HARBORCENTER hockey complex, which will host several USA Hockey-related events in the coming years and serve as home of the Canisius College hockey team. He's also enhanced the offerings at the First Niagara Center. His net worth – drawn from his many hydrofracking facilities in Pennsylvania – exceeds $3 billion.
The owner of Pabst Brewing Co. is also set to make a play to buy the Bills. Those two bidders are on top of the known bidders – Donald Trump, former Sabres owner Tom Golisano and Maple Leaf Sports – who have already announced their intentions to bid.
Whoever wins the bidding process may be working with the Jacobs family to build a new stadium. The family, which owns Delaware North, said it won't bid on the team but is making a play to build a new stadium. Municipal officials are working in the details of a new stadium, which NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said is essential to keeping the team in Buffalo. New York state has commissioned a company to select the best sites for a potential new stadium.
The team hired an investment banker and law firm to begin the bidding process, which should begin later this month. The team was valued by Forbes at about $870 million, but those two entities must independently determine a value for the team and its assets.Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Donald Trump, Hockey, NFL, NHL