ORCHARD PARK, N.Y., Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Jon Bon Jovi is interested in buying the NFL's Buffalo Bills when the team comes up for sale, weekend reports indicated.
The Bills' owner and founder, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., is 95. And while the Pro Football Hall of Famer has said the team will not be put up for sale during his lifetime, his daughter has long said she has no interest in owning the team, meaning the Bills will likely be put up for sale after Wilson's death.
CBSSports.com got the rumor mill churning this past weekend with a report that said Bon Jovi, who founded an arena league team in Philadelphia in 2009, has been seriously pursuing the potential of a Bills sale, including high-level conversations with NFL owners and league personnel.
But The Buffalo News reported his ambitions appear to need assistance: The Bills are worth an estimated $890 million, Forbes magazine reported this year. Bon Jovi's net worth is estimated at $290 million, suggesting he would need significant financial backing from a team of investors.
The most obvious suitor for the team when Wilson dies is Rogers Communications, CBS said. The multibillion-dollar Canadian communications conglomerate already owns the Toronto Maple Leafs and operates a stadium in Toronto. It has partnered with the Bills to host a regular season game at the Rogers Center for the past five seasons -- and the sixth will take place Sunday when the Bills "host" the Atlanta Falcons in Toronto.
CBS said the league would prefer to keep the Bills as a regional franchise, maintaining its traditional fan base in western New York and growing into southern Ontario. Pending an improved stadium situation in Toronto down the road, the team could play more games up north, the network said.
The Bills recently signed a new 10-year lease to play at Ralph C. Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., that all but ensures no matter who buys the team after Wilson, games will be played there through the life of the deal. The News said any owner seeking to move the team out before the deal expires in 2019 would have to pay a $400 million penalty to Erie County.