Good news for fans of the Buffalo Bills: bids for the team are now in, and it's likely that the franchise will stay in Buffalo. In March, long-time owner Ralph Wilson Jr. passed away, leaving the team in ownership limbo. When the bidding for the franchise opened up, the deadline for prospective owners to submit their proposals was July 30. Yesterday, three bids for the team were announced, each of which was over $1B. The record sale price for an NFL franchise is $1.1B; the transaction was made in 2009 when Stephen Ross purchased the team from former owner Wayne Huizenga.
It has been speculated that the Bills will be relocated to Los Angeles or Toronto in the wake of new ownership, but a sizeable bid from Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula figures to keep the franchise in western New York. Pegula's bid outstrips those of Donald Trump and an ownership group headed by rock star Jon Bon Jovi. Pegula is offering roughly $1.3B, while Bon Jovi's group is willing to lay down $1.2B. Trump has been disregarded as a serious contender for the team, as he has stated his unwillingness to engage in a bidding war for the team, and has already stated that it is "very unlikely" that he will win the team. Newsflash: Donald Trump probably just wanted your attention by bidding in the first place. Donald Trump will do anything to get your attention.
Reportedly, Bon Jovi's group has been interested in moving the franchise to Toronto, but Ralph Wilson's estate has expressed their desire to keep the team in New York. As a founding owner of the AFL, the Bills, and the merged NFL, it's likely that Wilson's wishes will be respected. As such, Pegula is the likely winner of this sale.