SBD/April 7, 2014/Franchises

Bills Drawing Several Local Suitors, Looking Increasing Likely To Stay In Buffalo

Potential buyers for the Bills reportedly include the Jacobs family, Donald Trump
Political and business leaders in Buffalo said that "several factors stand in the way of moving" the Bills to L.A. or another larger market, including interest from "several business leaders with local connections and deep enough pockets" to purchase the team, according to Jerry Zremski of the BUFFALO NEWS. Sources said that the Jacobs family, which owns the Bruins and Buffalo-based Delaware North Cos., "leads the list of potential local suitors." But ownership of the NHL team "could prove to be a stumbling block, given that NFL rules bar teams from being owned by people who own franchises in other sports leagues unless that other team is located in the same city as the NFL franchise." Still, it is possible for one of Bruins Owner Jeremy Jacobs sons to purchase the Bills if they "removed themselves from any position" with the Bruins. Other "prominent candidates" include Sabres Owner Terry Pegula, former Sabres Owner B. Thomas Golisano and real estate magnate Donald Trump, who "appears to be the most forthright about his intentions." U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, "I am even more optimistic this week than I was last week that we can keep the Bills in Buffalo" (BUFFALO NEWS, 4/6).

SAYING GOODBYE: In Buffalo, Matthew Spina noted the Bills on Saturday held a celebration and remembrance of late Founder & Owner Ralph Wilson Jr. at the team's field house in Orchard Park. The Bills arranged "pictures of Wilson in his youth; a portrait of him watching one of the Bills' four Super Bowl contests" and pictures of him with players during "great moments." Wilson's widow, Mary Wilson, "greeted fans as they signed a guestbook" (BUFFALO NEWS, 4/6). Former and current players, employees and thousands of fans paid their respects to Wilson, who died on March 25. The mood "was festive," as a "long line of fans snaked into the parking lot once the doors opened." Many "wore team jerseys and posed for pictures in front of the Wilson memorabilia" (AP, 4/5).
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