New ownership dilemma over

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By Nathan Moser

For more than two decades, there has been questions dealing with the future of the Buffalo Bills. Consider that the franchise’s only owner, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. was in his 90s. Wilson had founded and owned the team since 1960. There was the idea that once Wilson passed away, his daughters would have possession of the franchise, and they would sell the team to the highest bidder — whether that new owner or owners were planning on keeping the Bills in Buffalo or not.

Many Bills fans wanted Wilson to sell the team to someone who was going to keep the team in Buffalo while he was still alive, but he always kept the idea that while he was alive, he always wanted to own the Buffalo Bills.

The fears of many Bills fans finally came true when Wilson passed away on March 25, 2014 at the age of 95. This left many fans wondering: What would happen to the football team that has been playing in Buffalo for more than 50 years?

Once the Wilsons decided to sell the team instead of keep it, there were many candidates that wanted to place their bids in. There was Terry Pegula, owner of Buffalo’s National Hockey League team the Sabres; Tom Golisano, who was owner of the Sabres before selling the team to Pegula; a group that consisted of singer Jon Bon Jovi, who eventually got kicked out of the group, as well as Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment chairman Larry Tanenbaum and Edward Rogers III, who is the deputy chairman of Rogers Communications; and Donald Trump among others.

The top three bidders for the franchise were Pegula, who bid $1.4 billion, setting an NFL record; followed by the Toronto group, and Trump. The Wilsons, in the end, decided that the Pegulas were the right fit to be the second owner in franchise history. The NFL finance committee agreed to the sale to the Pegulas, and the next step in the process is to get the owners’ approval, which is expected to come when the owners meet in October.

mosernr14@bonaventure.edu

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