Jacobs family to do everything within their power to keep Bills in town
by Joe Buscaglia,posted Apr 24 2014 12:25PM
With the passing of Buffalo Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. nearly a month ago, the speculation about the future of the team has ramped up with new names being linked to the sale of the team.
Donald Trump has made his feelings known on plenty of occasions and on a host of different platforms that he wants to buy the Bills and keep them in Buffalo. The Associated Press reported that Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, amidst a bout with cancer, remains extremely committed to buying the Bills and keeping them in town. Rocker Jon Bon Jovi has been mentioned as an interested party, but also was lumped in with a Toronto-based group that could have intentions to move the team if they place a bid and it’s successful.
One of the most prominent families in the area with roots to the sports world already said that they will try to do everything within their power to keep the Bills in Buffalo. The Jacobs family, who runs Delaware North, has been mentioned as potential suitors throughout the past month.
In a prepared statement through Delaware North, Jeremy Jacobs, Jr. said his family is invested in their efforts to help the Bills franchise, but stopped short of saying that they would be involved in the bidding themselves.
"We are using our resources, our contacts, and our relationships to do everything we can to ensure the Bills stay in Buffalo."
In an interview with The Buffalo News, reporter Stephen T. Watson asked Jacobs if the family would make a bid for the team.
“It’s still early in the process, and it’s impossible to say either way.”
It’s important to note that, in order for the Jacobs family to purchase the Bills, it won’t be the father that’s spearheading the project. As the owner of the NHL's Boston Bruins, under NFL rules, he would have to sell the team in order to buy the Bills under his name.
It’s a rule in place to prevent individuals from owning two sports franchises in different cities. Nearly two weeks ago, Jacobs released a statement through Delaware North declining any personal interest.
“Several reports have listed Jeremy Jacobs as potentially interested in buying the Buffalo Bills. Mr. Jacobs owns the Boston Bruins and has no intention of selling the Bruins in order to purchase the Buffalo Bills. His focus is on ensuring the Boston Bruins continue to be a successful and winning franchise for the City of Boston and New England. He is a strong supporter of the Buffalo Bills as a storied franchise that has seen great success under Ralph Wilson. Mr. Jacobs would certainly be a strong supporter of any effort to keep the Bills in Western New York and is a big fan of the franchise and its leadership.”
While it dismissed the notion that the patriarch of the family would be the man in charge he also has three sons, two of which that would be currently eligible, to be the leaders of any potential purchase of the Buffalo Bills.
It’s still speculation, but when the Cleveland Browns were for sale, Jeremy Jacobs, Sr. was vetted by the NFL as a potential owner. The league knows the family, they see the success of the family in owning the Bruins, and it would likely be an easy decision in the approval vote from NFL owners.
Familiar with the sale of teams around the league, former GM and current NFL Network analyst Charlie Casserly spoke with WGR on Thursday and said really it comes down to one major factor for prospective owners.
“The owners have the right to accept, and not to accept, anybody that comes in. They tend to accept if the cash is there and the money is there,” he said. “That's crucial, because all these owners knew that they had to put up the money. It had to be serious money, it couldn't be paper money. So that's gonna be the number one thing.”
“I do know this, the owners will be very critical about somebody coming in to buy the team and their ability to pay for it.”
The sale of the team will go through the Wilson estate, where current controlling owner Mary Wilson, will sell the team to the highest bidder. The Bills were valued by Forbes last year at $870 million which means the price of the franchise would be close to, or even eclipse, the $1 billion mark.
To this point, the timeline of the potential sale of the team has yet to be disclosed. When a sale is complete, the principal owner must be approved by 24 of the 31 owners in the NFL.