Donald Trump Expresses Interest In Buying Bills, But Several Obstacles Exist
Donald Trump yesterday said that he "might be interested" in purchasing the Bills to "keep the team in Western New York," according to Tim Graham of the BUFFALO NEWS. Trump, appearing on Buffalo-based WBEN-AM, said, "It would be catastrophic, in my opinion, if Buffalo lost the Buffalo Bills." But Graham notes money alone "won't get Trump into the fraternity" of NFL owners. Team ownership is "bound by strict business rules and requires approval of the group," and Trump "has issues on both fronts." NFL owners "cannot have any gambling interests, and Trump owns a pair of Atlantic City casinos, the Trump Taj Mahal and the Trump Plaza." The NFL could "box out Trump simply if the other owners don't like him, a very real concern" (BUFFALO NEWS, 4/2). In N.Y., Bernie Augustine wrote, "Given Trump's history in the USFL -- fairly or unfairly, the former owner of the New Jersey Generals is accused of killing the league by successfully lobbying USFL owners to agree to move its schedule from the spring to the fall to compete against the NFL and bringing the lawsuit against the NFL -- any potential bid may be nothing more than a Hail Mary pass" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 4/1). YAHOO SPORTS' Frank Schwab asked, "Does the current group of owners want to bring in Trump's overwhelming personality and celebrity?" There "aren't a lot of old-school owners left, but there are some and as a group they are obviously aware of his combative history with the NFL when he was New Jersey Generals owner" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/1). Still, ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said Trump owning the Bills "would be great" for the NFL because the Bills "would be in the news all the time" ("PTI," ESPN, 4/1).
PROS AND DONS: NFL Network’s Shawne Merriman said, “There is a new wave of owners, and not the Ralph Wilsons of the world or Jerry Jones, who started in football.” He added, “When I played out there, we had one TV game a year, and I am sure he could probably get them way more than that.” But the net's Terrell Davis added, “I’m trying to see what he brings to the table as an owner. ... What is it that he brings to the table besides the marketing, besides the notoriety?” (“NFL AM,” NFL Network, 4/2).