Buffalo Bills open to adding a minority stake owner; portion of team for sale – WKBW 7 News Buffalo

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Terry Pegula, owner of the Buffalo Bills, is open to selling a minority stake of the team for the first time since taking ownership in 2014. The news of the potential sale was first reported by Tim Graham of The Athletic and later confirmed by 7 News.

The team released the following statement about the potential sale:

“The Pegula family has retained Allen & Company to explore the potential sale of a non-controlling, minority interest in the Bills.

These discussions only involve the Bills and no other team. No investment would be possible without Terry Pegula and the Pegula family maintaining a controlling interest in the team.

Their continued commitment to Western New York, the new Highmark Stadium, our fans, and the other teams in their portfolio remains unchanged. Neither the team nor the Pegula family are able to comment further at this point.”

According to Graham, it is not a sure thing Pegula will sell a portion of the team, but they are “ready to welcome a limited partner.”

Under the memorandum of understanding signed by Pegula, Erie County and New York State in March 2022 for construction of a new home for the team, the Bills must play in a new stadium in Orchard Park throughout the entire 30-year term of the new stadium lease. If the team was to breach the contract, Pegula would be responsible for repaying the entire public financing portion of the new stadium’s construction – $850 million – in addition to any debt and liquidated damages.

Pegula would also be responsible for millions in demolition costs of a brand new stadium.

“In addition to the foregoing, upon a breach of the Non-Relocation Agreement, the Bills shall (x) be liable for costs to demolish the New Stadium if such demolition is desired by ECSC within twelve (12) months following a breach (subject to any ongoing legal proceedings regarding such
breach) and (y) lose any and all rights to the funds in the Capital Improvement Fund (as
defined below),” the agreement states.

The Erie County Legislature granted final approval to the new stadium lease in May 2023.

Pegula’s net worth was estimated last month as $6.8 billion. He and his wife Kim Pegula purchased the Bills in 2014 for $1.4 billion. Pegula also owns the Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bandits, & Rochester Knighthawks.

7 News has reached out to representatives from New York State and Erie County for comment.

Sports business expert and President of Sportscorp Ltd., Marc Ganis, said this move could be a good think for the organization.

“The idea of selling a piece of equity for capital needs is not in anyway unusual,” explained Ganis. “It happens all time, and the Bills have a large capital cost going into the new stadium so if they sell a piece of the team to help fund the stadium, that should be considered a very positive thing for fans in Buffalo.”

As for members of Bills Mafia, they are not worried about the team’s future in Western New York.

“We’re never going to leave.” – Angel Cousineau, Buffalo

“Bills are going to be in Buffalo forever that’s a given fact.” – Zachary Reed, Buffalo

“This ownership doesn’t effect too much, I don’t think it’s a big deal.” – Derek Viveiros, Hamilton, Ontario

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