Tuesday afternoon was the deadline for prospective buyers to submit their “indication of interest” for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and, according to the Buffalo News, Sabres owner Terry Pegula officially threw his hat into the ring.
I can confirm that Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula submitted the non-binding bid and notice of intent today for the Buffalo Bills.
— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) July 29, 2014
Pegula, who made his fortune in the natural gas industry, purchased the Sabres in February 2011 and was immediately lauded for his spend-happy ways. Buffalo made huge splashes in his first free agent period as owner, inking Christian Ehrhoff and Ville Leino for a combined $67 million (Pegula would later sign off on compliance buyouts for both players.)
The 63-year-old’s foray into the sporting world wasn’t limited to just the NHL, however. A Penn State alumnus, Pegula donated $100 million to construct an on-campus facility — the Pegula Ice Arena — which opened in 2013 and currently houses the Nittany Lions’ hockey team.
As for Pegula’s interest in the Bills, here’s how the remainder of the process will play out, per USA Today:
The Bills’ trust will analyze the field and select a certain number of those initial bids. Those groups, or bidders, will then be able to gain access to more information about the team and move forward in the process.
Sports business expert and analyst Marc Ganis of the Chicago-based firm, Sportscorp, says this is a process which allows for the Bills to gain more access to the bidders’ financials as well. He says at the end of the day, the Trust will make their decision based on who is the “best top bid”.
“You will typically whittle the groups down to those that you think are the most serious, have the greatest ability and are going to pay the highest the highest price. And that last is really important.”
The Bills fanchise is for sale following the death in March of owner Ralph Wilson. It’s believed real estate mogul Donald Trump and musician Jon Bon Jovi have spearheaded groups that also put forth bids.