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Bon Jovi Still Courting Bills... For Toronto



(WBEN) A publicist for singer Jon Bon Jovi says the rock star wants to buy an NFL team and there are reports he has combined with Toronto-based interests to take the Bills there under his ownership.

“Jon remains passionate in his pursuit of an NFL franchise,” publicist Ken Sunshine told The Toronto Sun via e-mail Thursday.

 
   
  From The Associated Press March 26:
Here's a list of the likely suspects.

Bills' Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly has made no secret that he has put together a group of investors to buy the team. Kelly's health, however, has become an issue. The 54-year-old is preparing to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment following a recurrence of cancer.

- California-based bond fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach expressed interest in buying the Bills three years ago. Gundlach, who founded DoubleLine Capital, is a Bills fan and has ties to Buffalo.

- Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula.

- Two Toronto-based groups - Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment and Rogers Communications - have been mentioned. 

- Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs or his immediate family can't be counted out. Jacobs is from Buffalo, and his Delaware North food service company is headquartered in the city.

Jacobs' NFL interests date to the late 1990s, when he failed in a bid to purchase the Browns in their return to Cleveland. NFL rules bar owners from running sports teams in separate markets, meaning Jacobs would either have to give up his holdings in the Bruins or, perhaps, have members of his family run the Bills.

Sun columnist John Kryk writes  "Bon Jovi is the face of a Toronto-based group intent on obtaining an NFL franchise, via relocation, and expected to bid for the Bills.

Kryk says Bon Jovi is looking to partner with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors.

Two Toronto-based groups - Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment and Rogers Communications - have been mentioned as groups interested in buying the Bills with the intention of relocating them north of the border.

Bon Jovi has expressed interest in becoming an NFL owner, and is close with MLSE President Tim Leiweke.

In November 2013, CBS' Jason LaCanfora reported today that Bon Jovi was s very interested in purchasing an NFL team and had been meeting with key people in the Western New York area  with the Bills on his mind.

'Bon Jovi has been very proactive in meeting NFL owners and general managers, and is seeking their input on all sort of issues related to football. In the past he has nearly become a minority owner of a team, most notably the Falcons. However, sources said Bon Jovi is aiming to be the principal owner -- it remains to be seen if he has the type of immense capital necessary to meet that threshold of ownership -- and has aligned himself with several powerbrokers in his effort to turn his dream into reality," LaCanfora wrote

Forbes magazine estimates the team's value at approx. $850 million.

Shortly after those initial reports were made Sunshine, the Bon Jovi publicist, downplayed the singer's specific interest in the Bills saying that Bon Jovi has too much respect for owner Ralph Wilson to consider engaging in discussions for buying the team at that time.

 Wilson died March 25 at the age of 95.  His widow Mary Wilson has taking over as the Buffalo Bills' controlling owner and a team statement says "A process will be established at an appropriate time for the sale of the franchise. "

VIDEO: SEE THE ORIGINAL CBS REPORT
from NFL Insider Jason LaConfora
November 2014
 


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