Terry Pegula Purchases Buffalo Bills: Latest Details, Reaction and More

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor ISeptember 9, 2014

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Updates from Wednesday, Oct. 8

NFL's Greg Aiello announced Terry and Kim Pegula have been approved as the new owners of the Buffalo Bills:

Greg Aiello @gregaiello

Terry & Kim Pegula are unanimously approved as the new owners of the #BuffaloBills. Congrats to the Wilson & Pegula families.

Updates from Tuesday, Oct. 7

Buscaglia reported the latest in Terry and Kim Pegula's approval as owners of the Bills:

Joe Buscaglia @JoeBuscaglia

Vote to approve Pegulas set for Wednesday http://t.co/TM7M3001uc

Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 17

Joe Buscaglia of WGR550.com confirms Terry and Kim Pegula have been approved by the NFL finance committee: 

By this time next month, the Buffalo Bills will likely have their new owners in place. In what was the first of two big steps in the post-sale process, Terry and Kim Pegula were unanimously approved by the National Football League's finance committee to become the next owners of the franchise.

In a statement to the media following the finance meeting, Terry Pegula stated that they didn't consider themselves to be NFL owners just yet. In three weeks time that could, and likely will, change on a permanent basis.

On Wednesday, October 8, the NFL will conduct a vote at the fall owner's meetings in New York City. If 24 out of 31 current owners approve the Pegulas, they will receive the required ratification and will take control of the Bills franchise.


Original Text

After months of searching, the Buffalo Bills have a new owner. 

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula has purchased the team:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

#Bills officially announce sale of the team to the Pegula family, who is committed to Buffalo. Mary Wilson: “Ralph would have been pleased.”

The Bills confirmed the news:

Buffalo Bills @buffalobills

Wilson trust reaches definitive agreement with Pegula family in sale of the #Bills http://t.co/GwPt7t6FN7

ESPN's Adam Caplan added: 

Adam Caplan @caplannfl

The parties intend to submit the agreement for approval by the NFL owners at their meeting in New York City on October 8th.

Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News provided the full release from the team announcing the purchase: 

Jay Skurski @JaySkurski

It's officially official. Here is a press release from the #Bills on the agreement to sell the team to the Pegulas. http://t.co/RO1stdmrn2

Pegula released a statement, via the Sabres' official website:

Kim and I are humbled and honored that the Wilson family has chosen us to be the second owner of the Buffalo Bills. Pending the NFL approval process, being the next owner of the Buffalo Bills would be a great privilege for our family. Ralph Wilson left an indelible mark on our community and we will strive every day to honor his legacy.

Our interest in owning the Bills has everything to do with the people of Western New York and our passion for football. We have knowledgeable, dedicated fans here and along with our ownership of the Buffalo Sabres, it is gratifying to reassure these great fans that two franchises so important to our region are both here to stay.

We are grateful to Senator Chuck Schumer and Governor Andrew Cuomo for their support and desire to keep our Bills in Western New York where they belong and to our team of professional advisors at Allen & Company and Sherrard, German & Kelly. We would also like to thank the staffs of the NFL and the Bills for helping to guide us through the sale process. We now look ahead to the NFL review process in accordance with League policy. If awarded final approval, we will be driven to achieve a singular goal: To win a Super Bowl for our fans.

Out of respect for the continuing sale process, until League approval is attained, we will have no further comment.

Tim Graham of The Buffalo News first reported the news, with Rapoport providing additional details:

Tim Graham @ByTimGraham

I'm told tentative agreement has been reached between the Bills and the Pegulas and an official announcement should come today.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

What does Terry Pegula’s imminent purchase of #Bills mean? Source: “It’s historic for the city of Buffalo.” The team isn’t going anywhere

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Kim Pegula, Terry’s wife, will be heavily involved in the #Bills executive process, making many of the decisions, source says.

Mike Ozanian of Forbes reported financial details following Graham's report:

Sources are telling me that Terry Pegula has won the bidding for the Buffalo Bills for about $1.2 billion, a record price paid for a professional football team. ...

... My source says the Toronto Group, which included rocker Jon Bon Jovi, Larry Tenenbaum, chairman and 25% owner of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, and the Rogers family, bid "around $1 billion" while [Donald] Trump's bid did not top $900 million.

ESPN's Adam Schefter later reported the total was even higher:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Now being told that Terry Pegula paid close to $1.4 BILLion for the Bills, per sources.

The team became available following the death of owner and founder Ralph Wilson, who passed away at the age of 95 in March.

While potential celebrity buyers such as Jon Bon Jovi and Donald Trump made for compelling headlines and intriguing talking points, Pegula had recently established himself as the favorite. The reason? Locality and a whole lot of cash. 

Valued by Forbes at $3.3 billion, the 63-year-old recently sold a petroleum-rich piece of acreage in West Virginia and Ohio for $1.75 billion, hinting he had more to sell if necessary. 

It goes beyond money, though. He has shown a real interest in the Bills beyond just another business venture, and his purchase means the team is staying in Buffalo.

As NFL writer Brian McIntyre and the Toronto Star's Bruce Arthur noted, this is a time to celebrate for Bills fans:

Brian McIntyre @brian_mcintyre

Terry Pegula would be a great owner for the Bills. Definitely best option because he’ll keep them in Buffalo, where they belong

Bruce Arthur @bruce_arthur

Oh, and per @AdamSchefter, Terry Pegula's buyin' the Bills. Happy for you, Buffalo.

Bon Jovi's ownership group was based out of Toronto, while no one really knew what to expect with Trump. There was real concern about the Bills' future in Buffalo in light of both of their bids, but that talk can now be put to rest.

This is an exciting time for the Bills franchise.

The team features a tremendous front seven on defense led by Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Mario Williams. On the other side of the ball, EJ Manuel's transition to the NFL hasn't exactly been a smooth one, but an abundance of electrifying play-making ability from players like C.J. Spiller and Sammy Watkins paint a promising picture for the future. 

With a committed owner now also part of the mix, ending the franchise's 14-year-long playoff droughtthe longest current streak in the leaguenow becomes the goal. 

At the very least, Bills fans can rest assured they'll get to watch the team work toward that goal in Buffalo. 


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