When Donald Trump showed initial interest in buying the Buffalo Bills on Twitter, I supported the move. Trump said the one thing I was looking for: He’d keep the Bills in Buffalo.
I ignored the fact that the NFL wouldn’t be likely to welcome Trump with open arms after he led an USFL antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. I was all-in on Trump as a potential owner.
Trump then went on a retweeting spree where he’d tag NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, after getting tweets in favor of him buying the Bills. The shtick started to get old fast.
My support waned as it became apparent that buying the Bills would just be another publicity stunt for Trump. This isn’t new to Trump who has teased running for president.
In April, Trump went on record and said he wouldn’t spend an outrageous amount to buy the Bills.
“Somebody could come out and bid through the roof for the Bills, something crazy. In which case, I’m sorry I can’t do anything about that. You have to be sane. But maybe there’s not going to be any other bids. You never know with these things.”
There was Trump’s out. When the team went up for sale, he could claim interest but say that the price was too high when he didn’t win. He was still saying the right things, but most of us were no longer listening.
Trump actually went quiet for a while… until yesterday.
Donald Trump found himself in the local headlines again after taking to Twitter:
I am the only potential owner of the @buffalobills who will keep the team in Buffalo, where it belongs!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2014
There are so many things wrong with this tweet. It was the last straw.
The Bills aren’t officially on the market, but the team sent nondisclosure agreements to potential bidders. Tim Graham of the Buffalo News confirmed that Trump was one potential bidders to receive the nondisclosure agreement.
Although he signed the nondisclosure agreement, Trump can’t stop talking about the Bills. Not only is he sharing information, he’s likely sharing false information.
Two names with Buffalo ties have emerged as possible bidders for the Bills: Tom Golisano and Terry Pegula.
The Buffalo News reported that Golisano met with Buffalo Bills officials and informed them of his interest to purchase the team. Golisano purchased the Sabres out of bankruptcy in 2004. His goal wasn’t to win a Stanley Cup, it was to turn a profit. He succeeded as he sold the Sabres to Pegula and made $110 million.
While Golisano didn’t spend much money on players when he owned the Sabres, the NHL and NFL are completely different leagues in terms of making money. NFL teams rarely lose money. There is no doubt in my mind that Golisano would be more willing to write checks with the Bills as he’d be getting richer on a yearly basis.
You don’t need to worry about Golisano moving the Bills anywhere either. Golisano made his money in Rochester, NY and has plenty of ties to WNY. Regardless of his past experience with the Sabres, he’s a better option than Trump.
The best option of them all is Terry Pegula. The owner of the Sabres has the money to buy the Bills. Pegula was last estimated at $3.3 billion by Forbes. He added to his wealth recently by selling an oil acreage for $1.75 billion.
Some fans are negative towards Pegula because of the Sabres’ 2014 season. That said, he and the Sabres are following the blueprint that the Penguins and Blackhawks followed: go through a losing period, collect high draft picks and build up your roster with youth. The Sabres are ranked number one by Hockey’s Future for their prospects in the NHL.
Besides the Sabres, Pegula has invested money into Buffalo. He is behind the HarborCenter, a project that is going to cost about $170 million. The development will feature ice rinks, a hotel, a restaurant and more.
Pegula clearly has every intention of staying in Buffalo for the long haul, as well as improving the area. It’s been said that Pegula, like Trump, received the nondisclosure papers recently.
There’s no telling if Golisano or Pegula will submit a bid for the Bills. However, potential owners are generally quiet leading up to the sale of a team. For that reason, I’m more inclined to believe Golisano, Pegula or some other potential owners with WNY ties are more likely to submit a serious bid for the Bills than Trump. It’s time that Bills fans tune out Trump. He’s all bark and no bite.