Buffalo Bills: What Would Jon Bon Jovi Bring as Team Owner?November 24, 2013
Could rock star Jon Bon Jovi be the next owner of the Buffalo Bills? Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports is reporting that he has spent time positioning himself to purchase the franchise when it becomes available.
This is no fleeting desire for the music star, who has shown a strong passion for football. In 2004, he founded and was the primary owner for the Philadelphia Soul, a member of the Arena Football League. His team went on to win the league championship in 2008. When the league suspended play in 2009, Bon Jovi did not return as owner when they started back up in 2011.
Instead, he has turned his attention to the NFL, hoping to find a way into the exclusive club of being an NFL owner. In 2011, he attempted to purchase 15 percent of the Atlanta Falcons for $150 million, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN. At that time, the singer was quoted as saying through his spokesperson Tiffany Shipp:
Since helping to establish the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football team—from its inception through our 2008 championship season—I have always made clear my desire to someday enter the NFL.
This is where the Buffalo Bills come into play.
If the singer was awarded the franchise, the first thing he would bring is mainstream notoriety. With the lack of success on the field over the better part of a decade, the Bills organization has become somewhat forgotten within the NFL.
Since 2009, the Buffalo Bills have had only four games on prime-time television, and only one of those games were played in Ralph Wilson Stadium. The NFL would not want to miss an opportunity to cut to a person like Jon Bon Jovi in the owner's box three or four times a game on national TV.
The impact he could have on the organization could be very similar to what Jay-Z did for the NBA franchise Brooklyn Nets. When he joined the ownership group in 2010 as part-owner, they were the New Jersey Nets and were seen as the little brother to the New York Knicks.
The Nets over the next two years, though, went through a major transformation and re-branding with a new arena in Brooklyn, logo and uniforms. The transition was made easier and sped up by having a name like Jay-Z associated with it.
Bon Jovi could have a similar impact with the Bills due to his huge following of fans and impact in music.
The biggest concern for any Buffalo Bills fan, though, when discussing potential new owners is if they will keep the team in Buffalo.
La Canfora eases potential concerns at the end of his article when he writes, "Regardless of the exact nature of the ownership transaction, league sources do not see the Bills ending in L.A. anytime soon, even with some Hollywood connections, given the geography and allure of Toronto."
He also mentions in his article that "Bon Jovi has spent considerable time in the area getting to know politicians and power brokers and even added a date there late in a recent tour to allow for more time to allocate to the matter."
These are all indications that this is not a snatch and grab job for Bon Jovi to get a NFL team and potentially move them elsewhere. If Jon Bon Jovi is named as the successor to Ralph Wilson as owner of the Buffalo Bills, there is certainly potential to bringing some notoriety to the organization.