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Pegula : A Billion For Bills, Trump, & Toronto Group Also Submits Bid

(WBEN/AP) One day after initial non-binding bids for the Buffalo Bills were due, there are reports that Sabres Owner Terry Pegula entered a $1.3 billion bid on a team that the late Ralph Wilson paid only $25,000 for in 1959.

Heading into the process, real estate mogul Donald Trump said he would bid, but the amount of his offer has not become public, and he has hinted that he would not offer such a large sum.

And The Toronto Sun reports that a group including rock star Jon Bon Jovi, Maple Leaf Sports Executive Larry Tennenbaum and the family behind Rogers Communications have also submitted a joint bid.


The Future of The Buffalo Bills & The Search For A Stadium

Including these developing stories: (click each for more)

Toronto Sun: Only  Bon Jovi/Toronto Group, Pegula & Trump Bids Complete

Bon Jovi Group Meets With Congel on W. Seneca Stadium Plan

Schumer: " A Number of Serious Bidders"

Trump Downplays Likelihood of His Bills  Bid Winning Team
Exclusive WBEN Audio
On The WBEN Liveline:

Business First's Jim Fink

Sports anchor Peter Gross, 680 News, Toronto
Only three other groups submitted complete bids , according to the Toronto Sun's John Kryk, citing sources close to the process.   At least 10 groups signed the non-disclosure agreements at the beginning of the sale process, according to the Associated Press and it is believed that as many as 11 bidders turned in paperwork in time for yesterday's deadline.

Business First's Jim Fink tells WBEN that the Pegula bid was $1.3 billion, according to sources.

Kryk reports that there are only three complete bids- from Pegula, Trump and The Bon Jovi/Tannenbaum/Rogers group - on the table .

"That only the Toronto group, Pegula and Trump placed bids is surprising because Morgan Stanley, the trust’s investment bank, had reportedly been combing Wall Street all summer to try to add cash-flush billionaires to the bidding ranks," Kryk wrote late Tuesday.

The National Football League franchise is for sale following Wilson's death in March.

The New York Post reports that Pegula submitted at least a billion dollar bid to buy the franchise. Trump's bid amount has not been disclosed, nor has the Toronto/Bon Jovi Group's.  

"I'll be bidding, but many other people will be bidding," Trump said on Fox News ahead of a Tuesday deadline for prospective owners to submit initial offers. "I would say the chances (of owning the team) are very, very unlikely, because I'm not going to do something totally stupid," Trump said, "Maybe just a little bit stupid, but not totally stupid."

The Bills most recently were valued by Forbes at $870 million but are expected to sell for at least $1 billion, partly because NFL teams rarely go on the market.

Others who had shown interest in buying the Bills include former Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano, Pabst Beer Mogul C. Dean Metropoulous and Investment Fund Manager Jeffrey Gundlach . About 10 prospective ownership groups submitted nondisclosure agreements to Morgan Stanley, the banking firm overseeing the Bills sale on behalf of Wilson's estate.

Because the sale process is private, Morgan Stanley will not make names of would-be buyers public. The firm will review the initial non-binding bids and is expected within the next week to determine which groups may progress to the next stage of bidding.

The new owner could be identified by Labor Day and be presented to NFL owners for approval during league meetings in early October.

Meanwhile, representatives of the Bon Jovi group who have been exploring potential stadium sites scheduled a meeting with upstate New York developer Scott Congel, a person familiar with the meeting told the AP on Tuesday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the group has not disclosed who it is meeting with and the person wasn't authorized to do so.

Congel, the son of Pyramid Management Group owner Robert Congel, has proposed building a stadium on a former Seneca Mall site in West Seneca near  Ridge and Orchard Park Roads.  Syracuse-based Pyramid is one of the largest shopping mall developers in the northeast.

The AP reported last week that the Bon Jovi group had conducted a feasibility study that included building a stadium in Toronto but also planned to meet with two Buffalo-area developers. A lease agreement essentially locks the Bills into staying in Buffalo through the 2019 season. It is unclear if the group would eventually want to move the team to Toronto.

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