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Trump card: Billionaire declares interest in buying Bills, keeping them in Buffalo

Trump card: Billionaire declares interest in buying Bills, keeping them in Buffalo Donald Trump: “I’m going to give it (buying the Bills a heavy shot.”

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Donald Trump knows people doubt his sincerity about the Buffalo Bills.

Skeptics have scoffed at Trump’s declared interest in buying the Bills. They assert it’s a publicity stunt so the billionaire entrepreneur, entertainer and political flirt can remain in the headlines.

Trump today stressed that he’s committed to buying the Bills and keeping them in Western New York. Multiple sources confirmed he already has spoken to Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon twice.

“I’m going to give it a heavy shot,” Trump told The News on Monday from his office in Manhattan. “I would love to do it, and if I can do it, I’m keeping it in Buffalo.”

Trump also wanted to erase any thoughts he would move the team to Los Angeles or Toronto. He spoke about the loyalty of Bills fans and the team’s importance to the region.

But Trump also has a selfish reason for leaving the Bills here. His Boeing 757 could leave LaGuardia Airport and deplane at Prior Aviation in an hour.

“I live in New York, and it’s easier for me to go to Buffalo than any other place,” Trump said. “Where am I going to move it, some place on the other side of the country, where I have to travel for five hours?”

Trump so far has been the only ownership candidate to publicly state his desire to buy the Bills.

Rock star Jon Bon Jovi reportedly could be the front man for Toronto company Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, but nobody from that supposed group has spoken definitively for the record.

Other potential suitors who’ve yet to comment one way or the other are Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula and former Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano.

Jeremy Jacobs, of East Aurora, has stated through his Delaware North Cos. that he won’t sell his Boston Bruins to buy the Bills, as would be required under the NFL’s cross-ownership rules. But Delaware North didn’t specify anything about his children being interested.

Some Western New Yorkers might have trouble warming up to Trump’s advances. They’ve had their emotions toyed with before.

Trump acknowledged his past ditherings with presidential and gubernatorial campaigns that weren’t entirely plausible. His business and broadcast endeavors took precedence.

“I’m not like a politician,” Trump said. “Some of these guys, they professionally run for office and raise money and live off it. I have a big business, a great business.”

Accumulating colossal properties, meanwhile, is what Trump always has done.

Trump indicated he’s willing to get into a competitive bidding process for the Bills. He noted his established track record of beating out multiple bidders on high-profile acquisitions.

In a few weeks, for instance, Trump’s company will begin $200 million in renovations to turn the historic Old Post Office Pavilion between the White House and U.S. Capitol into a luxury hotel. Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, are paying $250,000 a month to rent the building as part of a 60-year lease with the federal government.

“I won the Old Post Office over everybody, 18 companies,” Trump said. “Everybody wanted it. I won it.”

Forbes magazine estimates Trump is worth $3.9 billion, but sources close to him claim he’s worth almost three times that.

“I have a track record that’s pretty much unparalleled,” Trump said, “but that doesn’t mean that I pay stupid prices.

“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.”

Asked for his impressions about how soon the Bills could be sold, Trump replied, “I think it’s going to go quickly. I hope it goes fast.”

High-ranking Bills sources have told The News a sale could be finalized as soon as October, the earliest NFL owners could vote on it, although approval more likely would happen at the December or March meeting.

Trump insisted his casino dealings wouldn’t impede his purchase and denied any bad blood still exists from the USFL’s $1.7 billion antitrust lawsuit against the NFL in 1984.

The NFL prohibits all personnel – from owners all the way down to the assistant equipment manager – to have any involvement with gambling operations. Trump’s name is on two Atlantic City casinos, the Trump Taj Mahal and the Trump Plaza, but he said he owns only a small stake in those properties anymore.

“It’s a public company, and I could sell instantaneously,” Trump said. “So that wouldn’t be a conflict at all.

“I did very well with Atlantic City. It was a great experience. When we sold the casinos, they didn’t change the name. But I’m not involved, not on the board.”

Trump also said his legal history with the NFL would be a non-issue.

Trump bought the New Jersey Generals and was the USFL’s driving force behind switching from the spring to direct competition with the NFL in the fall.

“I think the NFL owners respected me for it because I took a dead league and made it hot,” Trump said. “But my thing when I bought the team was, ‘I will not play football in the spring.’

“Even if they would have teetered along for another couple years, it wouldn’t have survived in the spring. And if I hadn’t gotten involved, they wouldn’t have lasted another season.

“The NFL owners that I know and are very honest about it, they’ll tell you I did a good job and they have respect for me. And I have respect for them.”

email: tgraham@buffnews.com

  • Prava1

    Who got this clown involved?

    • Steve

      The other talking idiot langworthy. He is so far up Trumps @ss it's not even funny anymore. Anyone who believes a word Trump says does not follow history very well. He reminds me of Madoff who was also a supposed billionaire.

      • MaoSayTongue

        Madoff was a Mossad operative who funneled money to Israel. Every time regulators came after him, AIPAC yelled, "anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism!"

        Everyone knew Madoff was a crook twenty years ago. Trump has never been a crook.

        • Skeptical Inquirer

          According to the AG, Trump U is a fraud.

          • One Before I Die 13

            I have been a Bills fan for over fifty years. My farther had season tickets at the Rock Pile. I have moved to Florida but still am an avid Bills fan as so many others across this contry. That is why Buffalo is rated 11th. That is pretty good.
            Enough about me lets talk about Mr Trump. I've read every post above. I can't believe how some people think. The best thing that could happen to the Bills would be if Donald Trump bought them. The reason being that is so clear is he is a winner. Does anyone that thinks they know anything about Donald Trump knows one thing. Donald truly has a big ego, Is that a bad thing? When was the last time the Bills were in the playoffs? Does anyone who knows how he does things think he will just fly back and forth in his 757 wan watch his team loose for another 14 years. No way he will make this team a winner because thats what he does. He is a winner with a big ego who will not tolerate a looser. He has already owned a football team and is a good friend of Jim Kelly. I trust Donald and his friend Jim Kelly to bring a winner back to Buffalo. What is so bad about that?

  • PatHart

    Please...no!

  • John

    I'd rather see them move

  • Walter Quinn

    Once again Trump feigns interest in something to get his name in the headlines. Notice how he left himself an out, "if someone bids through the roof", in other words, if I can have it for a song, I might actually go through with it. Not a chance!

    • eskimo0101

      Glad to see someone else gets it. Trump is a brand and his brand makes more money when his name is in the headlines.. That's why he's running for president, and mayor, and governor and now wanting to buy the Bills. Wonder what next month's publicity stunt will be?

  • Ron Warren

    "Sources close to Trump say he is worth really three times the Forbes estimate of $3.9 billion"? Don't even count on the Forbes estimate of 3.9. The fact is when you dig a little deeper in to his investments and what he actually owns in terms of his "own" money invested, the story is quite different and realistically a lot of numbers are thrown around as to his worth but no one really seems to know and he isn't talking.

    One of many examples is the $500 million dollar Trump condo/hotel Tower that opened a couple of years ago in Toronto that, despite what people might assume, was actually fully financed and the land purchased by a local Real Estate developer(Talon Investments). Other than his name on the building and some management/consulting fees, Trump has little or no investment in the project that means he collects little if any revenue from the sales of the units which, in the end, is how the investor ultimately makes their money!

    Does anyone actually think the NFL would consider this guy as an owner? Trump is, above all, a promoter, beyond that, who knows?

    • MaoSayTongue

      Who owns Talon Investments? Is it incorporated in Delaware?

      Is it a private company? How do you know Trump doesn't own 80% of the corporation that owns 80% of the corporation that owns 80% of Talon?

      • Ron Warren

        Uh, No, Google "Talon International Development Inc". for your answer. They are a large developer based out of Toronto.

        • MaoSayTongue

          I did. Couldn't find answers to any of those questions. Based in Toronto doesn't mean they aren't incorporated in Delaware.

          Since I can't find any public info on the ownership of that firm, I assume that either they are incorporated in Delaware, or Ontario has similar corporate privacy laws.

  • Guest

    you are complaining about the only interested party who wants to KEEP THEM IN BUFFALO!

    • Jamie Rozek

      Right, except for Jim Kelly, Terry Pegula, Tom Golisano, and apparently some others.

      • boxgreen

        Does Jim Kelly have anywhere near the billion dollars needed to buy a team?

        • Jamie Rozek

          Does Jim Kelly have an investment team with that kind of money needed to buy a team? According to him, yes.

          • MaoSayTongue

            The investment team can only consist of five people--including the "owner."

    • Sabran

      And you believe him???

  • t.ames

    Will someone turn off TRUMP'S MICORPHONE This guy is a real ___

  • Dave

    No matter who buys the Bills they will move them out of the city in 2020, nothing else makes any sense.

    • Scott

      First off there's NO WAY L.A. will wait until the year 2020 for an NFL team. The Toronto market stinks, that's why no other NFL team has tried it and the Canadians have their own CFL league to support. And furthermore, the BILLS are a profitable team. That's what owners want PROFITS. You just don't move a team that is profitable....Buffalo isn't going anywhere....

      • Dave

        When there are vastliy more profits elsewhere you most certainly move the team

        • Scott

          Elsewhere??? Where is Elsewhere??? Like I said L.A. won't wait, and there's no Canadian Market. You need the votes of the owners and the approval of the commissioner also, to move, don't forget. It's easy to SAY or think they will move, but doing so requires A LOT more than that.

        • Jamie Rozek

          They aren't going to LA. Period. They aren't going to Toronto, the NFL isn't interested in Toronto. They've even said so.

          LA doesn't even have a STADIUM yet. Their stadium is our Peace Bridge project. Just putting that in perspective for you.

          To make another point: The owner of the RAMS just bought a swath of land in LA. A large amount of it. Near the baseball stadium. In the area the NFL wanted the new stadium to go. The RAMS aren't happy where they are now.
          What do you think is going to happen there? The RAMS owner is going to build a new stadium and then the Bills will move in? Doubtful.

          • Scott

            Jamie, totally AGREE!!! And with the current owners having to vote and get approval by them and the Commish, there is NO WAY the BILLS are leaving. It's pure bull to think that they would ever allow the team to leave. They all know the BILLS are a Buffalo team. It's just not going to happen.

    • Jamie Rozek

      Right, dude. Because you know everything, have a crystal ball, and just love being negative. There is ZERO evidence to suggest the Bills are going anywhere.

      • Pat Liddle

        Smart money says otherwise. Neither Trump nor anyone else is going to shell out $800 mil. +/- and not want a decent return, short- and long-term. So expect personal licenses for 40-50% of the seats (avg. $2500-3500 each,) increased ticket prices, addition of luxury suites which will at best be a very hard sell in WNY, etc. I just don't see these things flying in the local economy the way they do in the Meadowlands, Lincoln Financial in Philly and 13 other NFL venues. I won't be happy if I'm right, but take a look at what's happening in SF and Minn. right now (Time online Oct. 06, 2013). The future isn't bright.

        • Jamie Rozek

          Wrong. The Bills are one of the more profitable in the NFL. They might not be pulling in massive dollars, but they are profitable.
          An NFL team run correctly, marketed correctly, and positioned correctly will be very profitable.
          Buffalo is within 500 miles of 1/2 the population of the US.
          I think we're in a pretty good position to not only keep the team, but really grow with it.
          Negativity is not going to change those facts.

          By the way, when it comes to sports teams, sometimes it's not all about the money. Sometimes people just like to own sports teams because they're fans, and they can afford to buy them.

          • TedLogan

            under the RW model (read no debt/mortgage payments) they were profitable. The economics change when you are financing debt as a new owner would need to do.

          • Pat Liddle

            It's pretty easy to be profitable when your original investment was $25k and you have what must be the most devoted fan base (given the results of the last 13 seasons) who enjoy about the lowest cost of attending games in the league. It's a lot less easy when you're looking for a return on an $800 mil. investment. One person's negativity is another's reality. Like I said in another post, better find a world-class philanthropist.

  • Paul Bruhns

    tim, your first three sentences were factual, the rest is pure PT Barnum.

  • Hal Jam

    If Trump buys the Bills and keeps them in Buffalo, I'll change my tune about the guy, but I assume everything this guy says to be a little bit B.S.

    • apoorcitizen

      "Little bit B.S.!" Trump is full of SH*t!

  • Sabran

    Hopefully Trump buying the Bills ends up like his Presidential and Governor bids did.

  • repomania

    This guy is so full of himself and something else.....

  • Greg HipKat Hansen

    It's not that we doubt his sincerity; We don;t want that POS anywhere near this team. What a fiasco it would be. Worse than Jerry Jones. Same with Bon Jovi. Hell no! Go hire your guitar player back and see if you can resurrect your career, Jon.

  • Molson Cree

    This wouldn't be so bad, if he didn't have the reputation of being such a self serving con-artist. Honestly, I have a hard time believing that Trump is even a billionaire. Just the fact that Forbes has no real clue of his worth has to make you wonder how much is really just smoke and mirrors.

    • MaoSayTongue

      Forbes doesn't really know anyone's net worth, since they only go by public documents--which is why you see "estimates" of $5 - 25B and $4 - 15B.

      For instance, they know how much Bill Gates' public investments and shares in Microsoft are worth, but they have no clue to how much he has squirrelled-away in int'l currency manipulation funds--until he wants them to know.

  • Rich

    Stop it Donald, just stop it! WNY has suffered enough with the Bills and Sabres, we don't need you playing with our emotions. Go away.

  • Austin Hood

    Let's look at the facts. We are in the middle of an economy which is just beginning to improve. The purchase price of the Bills when and if they sell will probably be around $800 million dollars give or take.

    Now, who in their right mind would want to make this kind of investment?

    If you have $800 million and you purchase the team, now the income is probably $40 million a year plus all the hassles and headaches associated with running a football team. That includes managing the players, taking care of the payroll, worrying about the new stadium and on and on the list goes.

    Now, if someone has $800 million dolllars and they were to invest that money in stocks and corporate bonds they could easily generate a 5% return on their investment just by making a phone call to their broker!

    The point? Donald Trump will buy the team. But for the right price. But, he is well known as a bargain hunter.

    No one in their right mind right now is willing to invest close to $1 billion dollars to buy a team anywhere especially in this present economy. And, I'm sure that even the Bills family is not going to have the easy time that they think in trying to sell this football team or any other football team for that matter.

    • Alan Baumgardner

      Austin, rethink your numbers. Based on what we know from the Toronto deal, just the gate revenue at the Ralph works out to over $50 million per season, not including parking, concessions, merchandising or most importantly TV revenue. The somewhat reduced purchase price compared to other NFL teams reflects market size. PS: There are still a lot of people in this country who would like to own an NFL team. It's a pretty elite club. It's like being a political figure without those messy elections.

      • Austin Hood

        Buying the team for anyone makes no logical sense whatsoever. Anyone who purchases this team would have to have a net worth of $10 billion or more.

        Why shell out $800 million to make $50 million a year?

        This is a down economy. Don't forget Ralph Wilson spent $25,000 for the team. If he lost his rear end on the deal what did he care?

        I'm sure that Donald Trump would buy the team, but not for $800 million. Even at $50 million a year that means that it will take at least 20 years to recoup the initial investment. And, a lot can happen in 20 years. If the team goes bust. People lose interest. They don't want to pay or can't afford the high ticket prices any more.

        Sure, owning an NFL team is a great deal. If you have so much money you don't know what to do with. But, even the wealthy are not as free with their cash anymore as they used to be.

        Think of this seriously. If you had $5 billion dollars, would you be willing to risk one fifth of all the money you had owning a team?

        You're talking someone who has at least $10 billion to $20 billion dollars who is basically bored. Owning a team seems like a great idea, but I wouldn't want one in this down economy. Sure it's prestigious but look at the financial risk involved.

        • Sam

          I disagree... The people who can afford to buy a team for that amount of money aren't looking for a 5% return anywhere else. In fact, they didn't get to where they are by making measly little 5% returns on anything - it would have taken to long to get to a billion dollars.
          Instead, the types who want to own a sports franchise likely do it for one of three reasons:
          1. They think they can flip it for a huge gain - like Golisano did with the Sabres.
          2. They're simply huge fans and want to be more involved in the game - kind of like Pegula and his Sabres and Ralph Wilson for that matter (he could have cashed out years ago had he wanted, but he loved them too much to even think of it)
          3. To feed an ego and join a very exclusive "club".

          • Austin Hood

            If you read the Wall Street Journal, you will soon see that the road to "Ego, prestige, high flyer," you name it is littered with bankrupt individuals who lived large.

            I think that when and if the economy ever improves to a point when people can spend money and they don't care what it costs anyore, then sure buying a football team is a great idea. But, we are probably talking at least five years from now.

            What does it cost for the average person to take their family to a Bills or Sabres game? How many people can afford to do that without worrying about the cost?

            Money is still not that lush in this economy. And, while owning a football team in a booming economy is a great idea, right now I think it's the biggest White Elephant ever to hit the market. That's just my opinion of course.

          • RAY

            If you have the money, and Trump has plenty, the time to buy is when the economy is down. If the economy does improve as you speculate in 5 years the Bills will be worth substantially more than they are now.

          • Austin Hood

            Trump never pays full price for anything. He aways looks for a bargain.

          • MaoSayTongue

            You obviously aren't familiar with how Warren Buffet garnered his wealth.

          • Sam

            You mean the 30 years of 20% compound growth? He didn't amass 40 billion from 5%

          • MaoSayTongue

            He did it by buying well-run companies with modest profit margins and then amalgamating them to reduce redundancies and making well-placed lobbying donations to impede his competitors while licking clean the heaping plate of gov't handouts.

          • Lou

            It seems as if many of you are forgetting the asset value once you purchase the Bills. Sure, it's an initial investment of $800mil, but the value of the team immediately secures your initial investment. The Bills are currently valued at somewhere around $870mil, and had an operating revenue of $256mil in 2012. So you have an initial investment secured by the value of your asset at purchase, and the asset generates revenues of $256mil/yr. In a league that's growing in a down economy (the avg NFL team's value has grown 8.3% over the last 10yrs) how can you lose?

        • Ed

          Austin,

          Keep in mind that the $50 million/year is annual earnings (equivalent to stock dividend or bond yield, in your example). On top of that you have the potential for capital appreciation. The NFL is still a growing league. It may take 20 years to re-coup your initial investment, but you'll probably be able to sell the team for significantly more than the initial cost.

          Also, people buy stuff with absolutely 0 investment potential all the time because of it being a status symbol. This is an ultimate status symbol, in addition to an investment opportunity.

          I'm not saying this is the best investment out there, but it's not completely as illogical as you state.

          • Austin Hood

            Why would anyone in their right mind want to invest $800 million in a football team when they could invest that money in stocks, and corporate bonds and earn money while they sleep with no hassles whatsoever?

            Owning a team is a great thing if you have so much money you don't care if you lose it or not. But, the average member of the public today doesn't have that kind of cash anymore to drop $200 or more everytime they go to a football game.

            If you factor in the cost of parking, the tickets, beer and refreshments, how many people can go to a game anytime they want and not care what it costs anymore?

            I'm sure that Donald Trump will buy it, but he will probably want to pay $400 million for the team not $800 million.

          • Jamie Rozek

            He's not going to buy it for 400 million. They will not be sold for 400 million.
            A sports team is a lot like a casino, if you think about it. He's dumped his casinos. Now he wants a sports team. He's a kid with toys, and when kids want to play with their toys, they do.

          • Ed

            Western New York has consistently lost population since Ralph Wilson owned the team, yet the team still went from $25k in value to $800mil. In five years, if the economy does improve, $800mil is going to look like a steal for the franchise.

            As far as the hassle to own the team, I think some people are willing to deal with it for the prestige of owning an NFL franchise.

          • Austin Hood

            Who is going to go out on a limb for an investment that might pan out in five years? After all is said and done buying a football team is a great thing for someone's vanity. But, after the Great Recession the Romanticism of spending close to a billion dollars for a football team wears thin.

            This is the consumate White Elephant of all times.

          • Ed

            Every stock or bond out there is bought on the thought that it will pan out in the future.

          • Austin Hood

            When you invest you only put 5 to 10% into one stock or corporate bond. So, in the event that something goes belly up, that is not a problem.

            When you buy a team for $800 million you are putting all your eggs in one basket.

            I don't know of a lot of people willing to put $800 million into one venture.

            If the deal was so great Warren Buffet would snap it up in a heartbeat. He's known for his business acumen. He's got that kind of money. And, he could easily put that kind of financing together on a moments notice. And, I'm sure all the NFL owners would be thrilled to have him as a club owner.

          • MaoSayTongue

            Warren Buffet has never snapped up any deal in a heartbeat.

            He looks at a business for years and years before he invests in it--with the goal of never selling. He doesn't even invest in IPOs.

          • goggles pisano

            The value in the Bills is appreciation, not necessarily operating profit. Buy the team, pay $28 million after 2019, move them to a large market, raise prices exponentially on everything, get $1000's per season ticket on licensing fees and you just increased revenue by more than the $28M AND have up-valued the team by $100M+. NO businessman would lose out on the $100's of millions the team can up-value/earn by moving them for 2020. People need to get out of their heads the team is staying. Ralphie got every dime out of the economy he could, in 2020 monies it will be relative chump change. The money simply is not here.

          • Austin Hood

            So, someone is supposed to shell out $800 milllon and have to wait to a move the team to a more profitable market in 2019? I don't think so.

            Would you do that? Would you spend that kind of money and be liable for all that goes in buying a team and then have to wait to move it?

          • goggles pisano

            While bilking WNY dry first? They're already joisting for position, aren't they? Stop thinking small/short term.

          • Austin Hood

            This is not small term. This is a down economy. You won't even spend the money to got eat in a restaurant. (This is your choice and I respect you for that by the way.) But, now, you are asking the average fan to drop at least a minimum of $60 to $80 per person to go to a football game in a down economy?

            What does it cost to take a family of four to a football game?

            What do people normally shell out to go to a game? Sports tickets are astronomically expensive.

          • goggles pisano

            No no no. I am not asking anyone to spend more, they cannot. That is why the team is leaving. Plenty of money and vibrant economies elsewhere. How many potential buyers have put not moving the team on paper. None. Just lip service.

          • Sam

            say the Bills sell for 800 million and Trump buys them for that price. Yes, it ties up a big stake of his net worth - however he woudl still be a Billionaire even after he paid cash in full (which, he likely wouldn't. He would finance it like a smart businessman)

            If the Bills were ever to go down in value, they most likely will not go to zero - and even if the do, he would still a Billionaire. The most likely worst case for him is that he pays 800M for them and then sells them for a few hundred million less. It's not going to hurt him other than some pride.

            What you're forgetting is that we're talking large numbers with lots of zeros. To most people, tying up a huge portion of their net worth would mean that they have little else left to live on. Say you were fortunate to save up 250k for your retirement, it would not be very wise to run out and buy a used Lamborghini for 150k. Now if you're worth 3.9B (or possibly more) and you drop 800M on a sports team, you still have 3.1 Billion dollars left to do what you please. I'm sure he would not lose much sleep over that from a financial standpoint
            As for the economy, yes, people are still hurting but that's not a factor for the super wealthy. In fact, they've been able to grow their wealth over that time. Why? The stock market has been on fire for the past 4 years and these types of people weren't the foolish types who sold at the bottom...

          • Austin Hood

            Well, there is one small flaw to this theory. Trumps net worth is difficult to really pin down. Secondly, in the Real Estate Business, which is the vast majority of his holdings, office rents can drop like a brick in a bad economy. Further, there can be sudden government regulations which can turn against you.

            My best guess is that Donald Trump is highly leveraged. That means that a lot of his holdings look good on paper. But, in reality he does not have $8 billion in cash on hand.

            If you own a house which is worth $150,000 and you have a mortgage on that of $100,000, your net worth is not $150,000 but in reality $50,000.

            So, if someone buys the bills for $800 million, goes out on a limb to finance it and the economy head south then what?

            He'll offer $400 million for the Bills. He's a bargain hunter. That way if the deal goes sour he still has room to unload the team and make a profit. He will never offer full price. That's not his nature.

          • Austin Hood

            P.S. The economy is not hurting for people that have $8 billion in cash. But, Donald Trump is sitting on a boatload of payments that he owes. His holdings are not paid for. But, instead he uses other people's money a lot, which works out fine until the economy goes bad.

            Further, if you read the Wall Street Journal even the super wealthy are not as flush as they used to be with the cash.

    • MaoSayTongue

      The Bills are a turnkey operation at this point. Trump would have no headaches at all if he maintains the status quo.

    • El Kabong

      Billionaires don't buy NFL teams primarily for an ROI.

  • sarge

    good idea fans, go negative on someone with the ability and wilingnes to buy the Bills and keep them in Buffalo..there are so many others just waiting in line to spend $800 million and keep them here .....keep trashing the guy...much better to lose them....unreal!

    • Jamie Rozek

      There might be.

  • David Flood

    Do not trust the Donald. When he becomes bored with the Bills, he will abandon them the way he does with his "serious" forays into politics. It's all about him.

    • MaoSayTongue

      At least he's American.

  • Tee Zee

    If anyone thinks the NFL owners are going to approve a Donald Trump backed group, then your sense of reality needs a 50,000 mile tuneup. I don't doubt for a minute that the Bills stay in WNY, but not with the Donald.

    • Jamie Rozek

      And your reasoning is?

      • Patrick Rock

        The NFL owners have to vote on allowing an ownership transaction, they tend to be a low profile group and look down on publicity stunts. Given his latest political theatrics, I doubt that they are going to view Trump as being stable enough or willing to work with them or the Commissioner. Imagine Jerry Jones on steroids.

        • Adrian Fitzgerald Harris

          I would agree with that line of thought. There have been quite a few NFL teams for sale in the past twenty years and Mr. Trump has always wanted to be a NFL owner going back to the USFL days; so why hasn't he bid on any of those teams, three have been closer to New York than Buffalo. I would say that the NFL hasn't forgotten his USFL stunt and neither have real football fans that enjoyed a spring league, hence the media silence from everywhere except here. His main reason for moving the USFL season to the fall was to compete with the NFL and force a merger that would include his stacked New Jersey Generals team. I'm sure he is serous, but the NFL has longer memories than common folk.

  • Dan R

    Any billionaire that wants to buy the Bills and KEEP them here is OK with me. Typical Buffalonians want to bash the guy and think there's a conspiracy but if he vows to keep them in town, i'm sure that would be shown in any agreement. On the flip side it's not something as easy as Trump makes it sound.

    • MaoSayTongue

      Shumer, Shiksa, and Bentnose would be in a sticky-wicket, supporting gov't handouts to Trump.

  • Peter S

    If The Donald wants the Bills, he will probably get them...and I think he will keep him here. My only fear with Trump is he will be Jerry Jones/Dan Snyder -bigger than the team - type owner rather than a Kraft/Bowlen type - team first.

    We shall see. Frankly I think he is a better choice than Pegula or Golisano.

  • Sean Danvers

    Anybody who think's the hairpiece will actually hold to his word is nuts. This is pandering of the worst kind, especially because at the end the only result will be a knife in the back of Bills fans. As soon as he finds a way to charge more per seat in a better location, the Bills are gone.

    • JT

      You speak like the fans have a choice in who buys the team.At least Trump is on the record stating he would keep the Bills in Buffalo.Who is to say another potential owner wont.I actually believe Trump but it really doesn't matter.Because none of us will have any say in this anyhow.Remember the Devil you know is always better than then one you don't.Instead of bashing Trump the fans should kissing his _ _ _

      • JB

        Ring?

      • Terrier1

        The people that matter are the owners who will vote on whether he can buy an NFL team.
        He is universally hated by the owners - he even sued them as a USFL owner...remember THAT successful league Trump was involved in????
        They will never let him into their club.

    • Jamie Rozek

      It's funny how the whiners will take something great and figure out how to whine about it. Welcome to Buffalo. We wonder why we have the image we have....we create a lot of it.

      • Newday12

        No joke......people in this city are so negative.

        Then they wonder why their life stinks.

      • El Kabong

        This reaction to the possibility of Trump buying your favorite team is not exclusive to Buffalo. Trump buying a team in NY, LA, Philly, Cleveland would be met with the same revulsion.

  • Guest

    I like the idea of having a Jerry Jones- bigger than the team kind of owner. Buffalo needs all the cheerleaders it can get and "The Donald" is a classy guy with high visibility and a penchant for success. I think he can muscle the right investors including our ALBANY bureaucrats to put together a successful deal. Besides, being one of 32 NFL elite wealthy owners is a trophy bigger than "The Donald" and his ego. Imagine his jet at Buffalo Airport every home game. Lets get excited for whoever buys the team but for me, I like Trump.

    • JT

      Amen

    • boxgreen

      Trump is a classy guy? In what alternative universe? It's certainly not true in this one. He is the poster boy for the saying "money does not buy one class." Vulgarity and ostentation does not equate to class.

      • MaoSayTongue

        Has he ever been arrested? Has he ever even been accused of sexual battery or wife beating? Has he ever gotten snot-slinging drunk and dropped a million dollars in a Macao casino?

        I don't particularly like his ostentation, but the only real wrong I know of him committing is adultery.

      • Jamie Rozek

        Sounds like you know him quite well.

        • boxgreen

          If you are trying to claim that the Trump brand is "classy," you are delusional.

          • BuffaloDeb

            He also has 4 bankruptcies under his belt. He isn't even allowed to have a casino in his hotel because of his bankruptcy problem.

    • Five Woods

      he can muscle our Albany bureaucrats, yeah I suppose him and Andrew Cuomo are best buds?

      • Guest

        If New York State loses the Bills it will all be blamed on Cuomo- why not??

  • TheKaz1969

    yeah, it would really suck to have to fly 5 hours on your private jet every home game...

    • MaoSayTongue

      I would build a dirigible and live on it--hovering above NFL games. None of those passé owners' suites for me, boy.

  • Patrick Anonymous

    It would be entertaining to have him around and probably would be a good thing if it did happen, but it's not going to happen. The league and it's owners won't let a casino owner buy a team. It's the same reason Vegas will never have a team. I mean, how could we dare soil the good name of the NFL with gambling? (*sarcasm kids, sarcasm)

    • MaoSayTongue

      Read the article.

  • Anthony

    Donald Duck could buy the team for all I care, just keep them here.

  • CW1

    Respectfully, Mr. Trump - just put up for a change instead of your habitual self-promotion. Talk, like the free publicity it generates for you, is cheap.

  • Vidiot

    Wow, a day without BN mentioning Tru,.... Oh.

  • Newday12

    I think he would be great for Buffalo.

    It will keep us relevant, doesn't put up with mediocrity and if nothing else his antic will keep us on the map and also spur some investment in Buffalo.

    Better than what we have no and it would hurt to have a Billionaire Celebrity associated with the team and our city.

    Also, he is a Bills fan, the Bills are one of the most profitable teams in pro-sports and he resides in NYS.

    • Terrier1

      He is a Bills fan? He loves guns? He wants to run for governor and will win?
      How many lies does this guy have to feed you before you realize he is full of it????

  • AJ

    The new owner would have to spend the better part of a billion dollars and then except that there will be minimal profits due to our market size, lack of seating licenses, etc. It would have to be about a love and loyalty to Buffalo rather than a good business decision. I cannot see Trump doing that. He is a businessman whose loyalty to Buffalo would be about the same as ours would be to Syracuse or NYC. Pegula would be better because he has deep pockets and has shown a real commitment to Buffalo. Either way it is asking a lot from someone to buy and keep them here.
    I hope they stay but if the Bills move I would like to see UB get into the Big Ten or another major BCS conference. Also, an OHL team in Buffalo would be great, no offense to Canisius or Niagara but the OHL is far more entertaining than NCAA hockey.

  • Austin Hood

    The smart thing to do is for the Wilson family is to keep the Bills intact, and run it under the trust until the economy improves. There is no way that anyone is going to offer them $800 million in this present economy. And, I think Donald Trump knows that. That's why he's making all these noises about wanting to own the Bills. He'll buy the team alright, but at a fire sale price of $400 million. That's just my best guess. And, that's not a bad return on an initial investment of $25,000 years ago. Every purchase Donald Trump has ever made has been with him on the top end of the deal.

    Now, I could be wrong on this. But, unless you are a serious billionaire with a real net worth of $10 billion or more, not leveraged, but in actual cash on hand and have made a boatload of cash in computers, or in silicon valley, I don't think that average "Billionaire" would be willing to pay top price for the Bills or any other NFL team for that matter. There are a handful of men and women in the United States who are in this enviable position who have serious money unencombered with mortgage payments, debt service and so on.

    And, as I see it, the economy is not going to be booming again for at least five years. And, when I say booming, I mean where people will freely spend their money and don't care what it costs to go to a game, go out to dinner and so on. Right now the economy is improving, but it's no where near what it was back a few years ago.

  • Mark Azak

    Typical Trump behavior.....throw your hat in the ring for the publicity with no serious intention of following through. Careful what you wish for Buffalo...Trump is a business man...if he were owner of this team he would make money, and the best way to maximize your profits with this team is to move it to a bigger market: $125 for a seat, $50 for parking, $14 for a beer. You re not going to see that kind of profit margin in this recessed market.

  • bugmenot2013

    Trust us, this is great news. Because out-of-town gagilliionaire owners have always come here and brought championships and the tools to finish the job.
    Sincerely,
    John Y. Brown, Blase T. Golisano and the Rigas Brothers

  • Buffalo Shark

    He's just a media attention whore

  • HarleyRider77

    Find an owner that'll keep the Bills in Buffalo. "Forget" Toronto and Las Angeles...both loser cities for football. If Trump will buy the Bills and keep them in Buffalo...ok by me.

  • Davey

    Trump is one step above a carnival barker.

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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.