With Andre Reed’s Hall of Fame induction and Buffalo playing in prime time to officially kick off the NFL preseason Sunday night, the Bills received more national attention this weekend than they have at any point since the height of the Zubaz Era. But one of the prospective new owners of the team decided he needed to go local in an effort to assuage fans fears that the team would go elsewhere under his tenure.
That would be Jon Bon Jovi, whose partners in the ownership include the Toronto-based Rogers family and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment chairman Larry Tannenbaum, who is already in charge of the Maple Leafs and Raptors. The thought in Buffalo is if the Bon Jovi group purchases the Bills, the team will move to Canada when the first opportunity presents itself after an exit clause opens in the team’s stadium lease in 2019.
Reed himself made his position on the potential Bon Jovi ownership clear last week when he told New York Magazine, “Man, f*ck Bon Jovi.”
So with Reed’s beef made public, Bon Jovi attempted to clear the air with a letter to the editor in Sunday’s Buffalo News.
Recently, there has been a lot of speculation about the future of the Buffalo Bills and questions surrounding the ownership group of which I am a part. Until now, we have not said anything publicly out of respect for Mr. Wilson, his family and the process they are undertaking to identify the right group to carry the franchise forward.
However, there has been a lot of conjecture, so we think it’s important to clarify our intentions to the fans of the team and people of Buffalo.
Our objective is simple: to carry on the legacy of Ralph Wilson and make the Bills successful in Buffalo.
We are committed to working with the State, City, County and business community to identify the best possible site in the Buffalo area for a new stadium and to then develop and implement a plan to finance and build a state-of-the-art NFL stadium for the loyal Bills fans.
He concluded with:
I know how much the Bills mean to the people of this region. So I want you to hear this from me: I’m not risking it all to let you down. If we are given the chance to be the next owners of the Buffalo Bills, I promise you that we will bring the same passion that you do every Sunday, every day.
“Risking It All” totally sounds like the title of a Bon Jovi song, right?
Based on the online comments section — which is not necessarily something anything should be based on — Bills fans aren’t buying what Bon Jovi’s selling.
Says one fan:
It is clear that Bon Jovi’s public relations department thinks that their sympathetic language that not once states the team won’t move will fool the estate of Ralph and Buffalo fans. He talks about how much the Bills mean to the region, which opens it up for his Toronto co-conspirators who would declare Toronto is part of the region. Let’s see Bon Jovi really step up and declare that he will guarantee the team will not physically leave Buffalo and Western NY if his bid succeeds. If he is not playing games with our heads so that he can win the bidding war let’s put down this commitment in writing with an even greater penalty imposed if the team leaves including closing the 2020 loophole by putting the $400 million penalty on their group if they leave at that point in time. Frankly, I think we are all united with Andre in our “respect” for the Toronto group and their front man