Donald Trump has emerged as a potential buyer for the Buffalo Bills. Following owner Ralph Wilson’s death last month, the sale of the franchise appears imminent.
"I'm going to give it a heavy shot," Trump told The Buffalo News on Monday. "I would love to do it, and if I can do it I'm keeping it in Buffalo."
The billionaire claims he has legitimate interest in purchasing the NFL franchise. He’s also indicated that he wants to keep the Bills in Buffalo, while other perspective buyers could move them to another city, possibly Los Angeles or Toronto.
"I live in New York, and it's easier for me to go to Buffalo than any other place," Trump continued. "Where am I going to move it, some place on the other side of the country, where I have to travel for five hours?"
Trump certainly has the money to purchase the Bills. Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy tells USA Today that Trump could easily put up the estimated $1 billion that it would take to become Buffalo’s new owner. Even if Trump does not plan on spending that much money, he could work with an ownership group, to cover a portion of the costs.
Despite Trump’s insistence, there is a question regarding how serious he is about buying the Bills. The billionaire has made several bold claims in recent years, including the potential purchase of a sports franchise, and not followed through. He openly discussed buying the New York Mets in 2011. Trump has also shown interest in running for president, but never mounted an official campaign.
Trump does have experience running a professional football franchise, but it didn’t work out well. He bought the New Jersey Generals of the USFL in 1983. He played a major role in the league abandoning its spring schedule and going head-to-head with the NFL. The league folded after the 1985 season.
In addition to Trump, other celebrities have expressed interest in purchasing the Bills. According to multiple reports, Jon Bon Jovi is looking to buy the team. He’s part of a group that could move the franchise to Toronto.