Tonawanda News — BUFFALO — Former Sabres owner Tom Golisano has met with Buffalo Bills officials and public leaders, and informed them of his interest in purchasing the franchise, said people involved with the negotiations.
One person said Wednesday that Golisano has also had talks with developer Scott Congel to be his partner in the potential ownership group. The person added that Golisano’s proposal will include building a new football stadium south of Buffalo, about a 10-minute drive from the Bills current home, Ralph Wilson Stadium. The people spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because Golisano has not publicly announced his plans.
The land where the proposed stadium would be built belongs to Pyramid Management Group, which is owned by Robert Congel, Scott’s father. The Syracuse-based company is one of the largest shopping mall developers in the northeast.
A person at Golisano’s office told the AP Wednesday that he has no comment regarding the Bills. Golisano also failed to return a message left on his cellphone.
The Bills are on the market after the team’s Hall of Fame owner and founder, Ralph Wilson, died in March. Wilson’s estate hired an attorneys and an investment banking firm last week to oversee the sale. They are expected to begin contacting prospective ownership groups by the end of next month.
A new owner could be identified by as early as the end of July. The new owner would require approval from 24 of the NFL’s 31 owners.
New York City real estate mogul Donald Trump has already announced his interest in buying the team. Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly has also said he has had talks to partner with numerous ownership groups.
Golisano’s entry into the bidding process does not come as a surprise.
He first discussed the possibility of buying the Bills not long after purchasing the Sabres out of bankruptcy in 2004. Golisano said he would especially become involved in an ownership group if there were any fears of the team relocating.