Don’t you play coy with me, Bon Jovi.
The New Jersey Rocker claims that while he is interested in becoming an NFL owner one day, he’s not currently pursuing the Buffalo Bills. According to his publicist Ken Sunshine (that’s his actual name, not something I just made up randomly), “The Bills are not for sale, and he has too much respect for Mr. Wilson to engage in any discussions of buying the team.”
This, of course, comes on the heels of a CBSSports.com report that cited unidentified sources saying that Bon Jovi was positioning himself and other interested parties to buy the Bills when Wilson, 95, passes.Wilson has gone on the record in saying that he will not sell the team so long as he is alive.
Regardless of what his publicist is saying, Bon Jovi is certainly someone to keep any eye on in the future. He’s managed to develop relationships with several NFL bigwigs like New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
He’s also seemingly made very good friends with several of the higher-ups in Toronto-based Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment. While MLSE couldn’t buy a stake in the team, they could be the backers of a new stadium.
One thing to consider regarding the speculation behind Bon Jovi (or anyone) purchasing the team and then possibly moving it: the Bills signed a 10-year lease with the state and Erie County to continue playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium, so the team isn’t going anywhere in the near future. There are “out” clauses before that 10-year window expires, but the franchise would have to pay $400 million to leave before 2020 and $28 million to buy out the remaining three years of the lease.
At this point, everyone involved or possibly involved are saying they’ve had no discussions and that is probably true. But when Wilson goes, it will be interesting to see who the Bills go to and what their fate will be.