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Milstein Pulls Out of Buying Bills

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Count the Thruway Authority's chairman out of the running to buy the Buffalo Bills. Howard Milstein says he won't buy the team.

Milstein's spokesman sent a statement to reporters Monday.

Niagara Falls Redevelopment and Mr. Milstein want to ensure that the Buffalo Bills remain in Western New York. "We are prepared to put substantial personal and business resources behind that effort, including our land in Niagara Falls, but this does not include participating in the sales process or making a bid to purchase the team," said Milstein.

"Through my work with the New York State Thruway Authority, I have come to even more fully appreciate and respect the role the team plays in the Western New York community and understand the critical importance of keeping the Bills in Western New York. I love football. I have always loved football and can't imagine our community losing this great team.

I look forward to working with all parties and any prospective buyers to help keep the Bills in upstate New York where they belong.

That is not surprising to Michael Caputo, who is helping Donald Trump with a potential bid to buy the franchise from the Ralph Wilson estate.

"(NFL) owners have rejected him twice in the past so he had an uphill climb to begin with," says Caputo. "I'm guessing he's going to focus on trying to get the stadium location group to agree his land is where the stadium should be, and that's a focus that's more profitable for him." That land is near Seneca Niagara Casino, and Caputo says Milstein is close to Governor Cuomo and that could help with his efforts to convince the group to build the stadium there.

Caputo says Milstein was rebuffed in efforts to buy both th
e Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins. "He actually sent somebody out to spy on NFL owners, got caught, and the owners told Dan Snyder to drop him as partner and come back with his own bid," explains Milstein.

Caputo says stadium decisions are different on ownership decisions, and believes NFL owners won't be as concerned as who owns the land as much as whether it's the right place, will it be too difficult for fans to get there, and whether it's centrally located to the fan base.

Caputo says Trump is quietly waiting for deal documents to arrive to make a bid for the Bills.

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Locations : Buffalo
People : CuomoDan SnyderDonald TrumpHoward MilsteinMichael Caputo
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