Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bills, Pegulas agree on $1.4 billion sale of team


Buffalo Bills fans have 1.4 billion reasons to celebrate.

A day after the final three parties involved in negotiations submitted binding bids for the purchase of the team, Terry and Kim Pegula, owners of the Buffalo Sabres, have solidified an agreement to buy the team, according to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News.

The Pegulas, with a bid of $1.4 billion according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, beat out billionaire businessman Donald Trump and the Toronto-backed sports and entertainment group led by Jon Bon Jovi. The deal, when finalized, will be the largest in league history.

In a statement Tuesday, Terry Pegula expressed he and his wife's excitement about the pending purchase, as well as their dedication to the team and to the fans in Western New York.

"Pending the NFL approval process, being the next owner of the Buffalo Bills would be a great privilege for our family,"  he said. "Ralph Wilson left an indelible mark on our community and we will strive every day to honor his legacy.

"Our interest in owning the Bills has everything to do with the people of Western New York and our passion for football. We have knowledgeable, dedicated fans here and along with our ownership of the Buffalo Sabres, it is gratifying to reassure these great fans that two franchises so important to our region are both here to stay."

That approval process that Pegula alluded to includes a background check by the league-contracted security company, as well as approval by the other 31 team owners. The approval process will likely take place at the owners meeting Oct. 8 in Detroit, where a 75 percent approval is required for the deal to be finalized.

And while it's now a moot point, Graham also reported that Bon Jovi's group, who reportedly bid $1.1 billion for the team, signed a waiver during negotiations agreeing not to move the Bills out of Western New York if they won the bid.

For more on the historic news, including statements from Trump and Bon Jovi on the outcome, click here.

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