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Los Angeles suitors explored buying Bills, quickly found that moving team wasn't going to happen

Los Angeles suitors explored buying Bills, quickly found that moving team wasn't going to happen Tim Graham writes there had "been a belief -- before Toronto emerged as a bigger threat -- that when Ralph Wilson died, the Bills would move to L.A." (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

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Much can be gleaned from the Buffalo Bills sale process from those no longer involved in it.

The Buffalo News has learned at least two suitors from Los Angeles signed the nondisclosure agreement but abandoned pursuit upon discovering how much opposition there would be to moving the team.

The News has confirmed billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad signed the nondisclosure agreement to review the Bills' confidential data in contemplation of buying the team. Since the late 1990s, Broad has been vocal about the importance of bringing the NFL back to Los Angeles and has declared he's the man to do it.

But sources say Broad examined the Bills and came away discouraged about moving the team because the NFL and too many powerful politicians are against it.

Asked about his interest in a Bills purchase, Broad spokeswoman Karen Denne declined to comment aside from saying, "Mr. Broad is not interested in pursuing a purchase of the Buffalo Bills at this time."

Forbes estimates the 81-year-old Broad is worth $6.9 billion. He made much of his fortune in home construction and the life-insurance industry. Broad has donated billions to education and the Los Angeles arts community.

The News sent me to Los Angeles in May to write a story about what Bills fans have viewed as a doomsday scenario for generations. There has been a belief -- before Toronto emerged as a bigger threat -- that when Ralph Wilson died, the Bills would move to L.A.

But as Broad's withdrawal from a Bills pursuit symbolizes, trying to relocate the team is not a sensible endeavor.

  • James Bizzo

    Don't f*** with moving the Bills. Period.

  • Rollo Tomasei

    Hmmmmmm?..the plot thickens!

  • jk

    Stop the Toronto nonsense...the Bills fan base is not portable and the NFL knows it...this is nothing more than a ruse...Proof in point...I have this question- If you live in CNY or WNY will you buy season tickets or otherwise purchase "Bills" merchandise if the Bills move...( up vote says you will NOT)

    The NFL is not about to create a huge hole in its fan base for Toronto...Don't believe me? Explore Peter King's comments on how much the CFL means to Canadians...

    Wake Up Buffalonians and don't give in to your latent hypersensitivity.

    • timothyD9

      As a token Torontonian I applaud your post. The Bills are Buffalo's team. The Bills in Buffalo are an exciting team coming back into the conversation; in Toronto they're a corporate entity with zero history and pretend fans. When politics rears it's head in this debate, American or Canadian, Buffalo wins.

      • Dave J

        Your's is the most sensible post on this topic I have seen to date.

  • Gary S. Kaminsky

    A simple answer - do you still root for the La Clippers (aka Buffalo Braves)? The Bills leave Buffalo and I leave the Bills .....

    • El Elegante

      My new team would be the Raider probably, if they stay in Oakland. Haha

  • jtown

    Thats a sharp picture of the ralph!

    • nflworstteam

      that is a cool pic

      • Bon Jon Bovi

        SUP.

  • Rick C

    So, in other words, that Bills' "moving thingy" that was never really going to happen anyways is now being told on a daily basis that it was...never really going to happen anyways? Well, I just wanted to say: THANKS FOR THE UPDATE!

  • Gray McDowell

    Today, there is an article in the San Francisco Chronicle that mentions what many have believed all along- the Raiders are seriously exploring a return to LA and it could happen after this year. That means it is likely that Eli Broad would have bought the team and then been beaten to the punch on moving to LA. It was just way way too risky for an LA investor to buy and sit on the team waiting to move them when the lease allowed for it. I would have been shocked if LA people had not kicked the tires, so this interest was not a surprise.

  • Bon Jon Bovi

    Sup guys. Jon Bon here. YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I'm livin' on a payer and promise to you all I will NEVER move the Bills. YEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAH!

    Jon Bon out.

  • David Piccione

    Are you high? You're a bit player,

  • El Elegante

    LA is dead. Like a big void. Of course, I was there 1x, about age 9.

  • JVman89

    GOOD! THIS TEAM BELONGS IN WESTERN NEW YORK, NOT LA or TORONTO or ANYWHERE ELSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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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.