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SBD/March 26, 2014/Franchises
Bills To Be Placed In Trust Following Wilson's Death, No Quick Sale Expected
Published March 26, 2014
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FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT: YAHOO SPORTS' Eric Adelson noted Wilson "successfully fought for years to keep the team in Western New York, and there has been speculation about what happens after the passing of the man whose name is on the stadium." The Bills have "played games in Toronto, and there was even a report about rocker Jon Bon Jovi having interest in owning an NFL franchise." That report was "hotly disputed by the Bon Jovi camp, but the future of the Bills will be discussed greatly in the coming months" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/25). In Buffalo, James Fink noted it is possible Wilson’s widow, Mary, "may keep the team." She has been "very active in team activities, especially in the Buffalo Niagara region." However, in years past, Wilson "declined to address whether his wife would be interested in keeping the family’s ownership stake." Meanwhile, local billionaire and Rich Entertainment Group Owner Robert Rich at 73 years old is "on the short-list of regionally-connected people who could help keep the Bills in Buffalo" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/25).
WEST BOUND & DOWN? In Buffalo, Jay Skurski writes the "impending threat of a team relocating" to L.A. has "consistently hung over the heads of fans in several NFL markets," including Buffalo. That threat will "only intensify" following Wilson's death (BUFFALO NEWS, 3/26). ESPN.com's John Clayton wrote L.A. is "looking for an NFL team, and it's easier to move a team that's being sold." While the "six-year wait might scare off" potential L.A. investors, Wilson's death "probably will get some things moving" on the L.A. front (ESPN.com, 3/25). But Erie County Exec Mark Poloncarz said that he "hopes enough checks and balances are in place to keep the Bills in Buffalo for 'many generations to come'” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/25).