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Source: Bills won't ease into sale process, could have new owner as early as October

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The Buffalo Bills could have a new owner before the season is halfway over.

While much of the focus on the Bills' future understandably has been on building a new stadium and the next owner being able to wriggle out of the lease in 2020, a high-ranking Bills source informed me the team's sale is on a much faster track than fans probably expected.

A sale must be approved by 75 percent of the owners, and that vote could take place as early as their annual October session. The Bills will start evaluating offers within the next few months.

The source said a more likely timetable to vote on the Bills' sale would occur later than that -- perhaps at the annual labor meeting in December or the annual owners meetings in March -- but October is possible.

The Bills today announced Ralph Wilson's widow, Mary Wilson, has assumed control as the club's principal owner. The move was a formality and helps facilitate the sale process.

NFL bylaws state every team must have a principal owner to establish a front-office hierarchy.

  • ByTheNumbers

    We can only hope that they are able to find a buyer who will move them before we're roped into another ridiculous stadium deal. 2020 can't come soon enough!

    • Rollo Tomasei

      How come only negative, nasty and the bitter respond to stories such as these?

      • Jeremy Bentham

        They are called trolls and a recent study has found out that internet trolls are trolls in real life. http://www.theguardian.com/science/head-quarters/2014/feb/25/internet-trolls-are-also-real-life-trolls

        • JT

          That was very interesting and doesn't surprise me one bit.Anybody that has nothing better to do than harass people online have no friends or life.

      • no.buff.87

        Mention any positive that Buffalo has going for it - yes the Bills are a positive despite the lack of success - and it just seems to bring out all the cranks in WNY. Some people in this area are real downers.

        • Paul Kawalerski

          My friend, I have travelled through much of the USA; 38 of the 50 states, and can tell you Buffalo has many benefits. Best food selection of any place I have ever been to including some of the best resturants. One of the best real estate values in the country. The Galleria. Great suburbs. Proximity to the Canadian border and Toronto. Many places open 24 hrs. for convenience including supermarkets, major retail outlets, resturants. Affordable hotels for visitors and clients. This city has a lot to offer. Just need to open your eyes and lose the negative mentality.

          • no.buff.87

            Paul either you can't read or responded to the wrong person. I'll give you benefit of the doubt and assume you meant to respond to the OP.

          • Paul Kawalerski

            My apologies. I did misread your comment. I agree that there are some commentators that are really negative. Buffalo has a lot of good things going for it.

    • ExpectResults

      Living up to your reputation... as anticipated. Oh, and while you're making these comments, don't forget to vote for yourself "guest".

    • Guest

      What an arse.

    • Don

      ByTheNumbers, lighten up.

    • bill

      dude dont even live here.............................he is just a paid propagandist.................

  • Erin

    Come on Jon Bon Jovi! You have always wanted an NFL team! This is your baby!

    • Dom Pacile

      he does not have enough money to pay for our renovations let alone a team.

  • Dale Zuchlewski

    It sounds like Ralph and the family have someone lined up or at least someone to take the lead and search for other investors which would make sense seeing he didn't die suddenly or unexpectedly.

    • Tahoeny

      You know, I was thinking the same. Makes sense.

    • Jamie Rozek

      The way this has all panned out, and through comments from the County Executive and the Governor---it really does seem to be the case that there is something in the trust that assures the Bills will be in Buffalo for the long haul.

  • Rich

    Rumor has it that Tim Hortons will be buying the Bills.The team will be moved to Fort Erie and will be known as the Loonies. The Ralph, with local tax payers assistance, will be turned into a giant curling complex.

  • Beezelbubba

    6 and out

    • bill

      please dude, no one buying your propaganda..................go away

    • Paul Kawalerski

      Your name is quite apt; Father of all lies. Lord of the flies. Your comments really to stink.

  • Lloyd M. Jr.

    The new owner must insist on putting forth a competitive team year in and year out. Along the way, said ownership must start off by giving Messrs. Overdorf and Littman the heave-ho in favor of advisors who are not afraid of spending more for quality.

  • Tahoeny

    I realize Mr. Wilson was an out of town owner. But he was committed to stay in Buffalo. We have him to thank for that.

    It will be a shame if an out of town owner buys this team. I sure hope a local group can get together to help keep the Bills in Buffalo. Love em or hate em... it would suck to lose the Bills.

  • Dave

    ONce the team is sold who gets the money? Did Ralph leave everything to his trophy wife?

    • bill

      no he left all the money to your great aunt Bernice

  • bill

    there is no valid excuse for the bills to leave, the bills make
    money.........you do not close a store that is making money and move
    it somewhere else cause you think you make more money
    there...............you leave the existing store alone and build a new
    one

    you cant claim moving the Bills makes common business sense

    and lets face the facts , the Bills are nothing but a retail store selling us pro football

    if NFL was not a monopoly, moving the Bills would not even be an issue, they would not even consider doing it

    • Beezelbubba

      They can make more money in a larger market.

  • JandM98

    Promising news in regards to keeping the team in WNY long term.

    • datroofhomez

      Buffalo is the last NY team left. Period. The other 2 left NYS for NJ a long time ago, & are operating under a sketchy alias.

  • Joe Bellini

    everyone is talking about moving a team to LA, but have we forgotten that 3 teams have played there (chargers, rams, & raiders) and all have left

  • Paul Kawalerski

    Mr Wilson may have been a lot smarter than many people gave him credit for. His dream was always to keep the Bills in Buffalo. Perhaps his plan is just starting to unfold. Seems like he may get the last laugh. Let's hope so.

  • jpaq68

    Only delusional Bills fans can see this as a positive thing. This reminds me of the annual "we're going to the playoffs this year" fantasy they have before the Bills season is over and done with by week 5 every year.

  • lifes good!

    Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be....!

  • Paul Krause

    Where there is money....goodbye fans, friends and anyone else connected with the team.Loyality is no longer a word in sports language.....was the number 185 million

  • Greg

    Ralph has told the family the team stays in Buffalo. They're not saying anything so they can drive up the price and then sell to the highest bidder that keeps them in Buffalo.

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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.