It’s official: Pretty much any sports team is worth a crazy amount of money now. Witness the Buffalo Bills, who Forbes has valued at $870 million, the third-least-valuable in the NFL; according to Buffalo Business First, there are currently three bids to buy the Bills from the estate of their late owner Ralph Wilson, and all are in the $1 billion to $1.3 billion range.
The names of the bidders helps explain what’s going on here: The three groups are led by billionaire Sabres owner Terry Pegula; Jon Bon Jovi; and Donald Trump. That’s one rich guy who wants to corner the market in Buffalo sports, and two rich guys who aren’t involved in sports but have money to burn and want something to burn it on. (Though Trump said earlier this week that his chances “are very, very unlikely because I’m not gonna do something totally stupid,” leading Deadspin to add that “Donald Trump is a clownfraud who only got involved in this for the attention.”) Pegula is considered the frontrunner in the bidding, in part because Bon Jovi’s group — which also includes Canadian cable giant Rogers Communications, because you’ve gotta have a TV company in there — has conducted a feasibility study into building a stadium in Toronto, and Wilson’s estate has indicated that it will give precedence to buyers who want to keep the team in Buffalo.
All of which makes it a bit puzzling why NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and others have been warning that without a new stadium, the Bills might leave — it seems like the team is plenty valuable right where it is. Or rather not puzzling, since we know why Goodell is saying it, but … maddening? Exasperating? One of those.