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Buffalo Bills fan "Preservation" fund idea attracting attention

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The Buffalo Franchise Preservation Fund got its public kickoff in Sunday's edition of The Buffalo News.

Today's News follows up with a report that initial reaction to the idea among fans is positive.

The goal of the project is to raise between $100 million and $170 million for a fund that would be offered interest free to someone buying the Bills and keeping the team here. It also could be used by the current Bills ownership toward stadium renovations or even a new stadium.

It's a promising idea if the fund organizers can demonstrate the proper safeguards to investors. Just how the NFL would view the idea is uncertain.

Here's an example of how it would work: Let's say the Bills were to be sold for $870 million. The new buyers could put up $470 million, borrow another $300 million at market interest rates and use the remaining $100 million, at no interest, through the fans' fund. The $100 million might be repaid over 20 years, but to the fund, not the individual donors. The idea is to get a huge number of donors to contribute $250 for a "share" ... or perhaps a lower amount. In return for the "loan," the team owners would have to guarantee keeping the Bills in Buffalo for a specified period of time. Such a plan could save a new owner anywhere from $7.5 million to $12.8 million a year, plan organizers say.

The fund is not yet set up. The organizers hope to have the fund up and running within a year.

The organizers' website is www.buffalofanalliance.org

And links to the stories:

http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/bills-nfl/bills-fan-fund-attracting-widespread-attention-20140203?two-bills-drive

http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/erie-county/can-fans-help-keep-bills-here-20140201

  • MaoSayTongue

    Of course the newspaper owned by Warren Buffet thinks people should donate money to billionaires.

  • jim

    I guess this means the "Toronto series" is guaranteed to continue. Perhaps the most dedicated fans should pro-rate their donations.

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.