Jon Bon Jovi Tries to Defuse Bills Controversy
Jon Bon Jovi is speaking out publicly for the first time about the on-going controversy surrounding his Toronto-based investment group's proposed purchase of the Buffalo Bills. He now confirms, in an open letter published by the Buffalo News, that he has no plans to move the NFL club.
"Our objective is simple: to carry on the legacy of Ralph Wilson and make the Bills successful in Buffalo," Bon Jovi writes, referring to the Bills' late long-time owner. "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. My family and I are prepared to make this life-changing commitment to be part of the Bills. This is not a hobby or an acquisition. Building a winner on and off the field will be job one and I intend to spend as much time on the ground in Buffalo as needed to accomplish that goal."
Bon Jovi confirmed that he wanted to buy the Bills last April. Earlier reports, citing anonymous sources, also asserted that he had no intention of taking the team elsewhere. Still, fans quickly latched onto his investor ties back to Toronto, where the Bills have played one regular-season game in each of six previous seasons.
In May, a group called 12th Man Thunder began a campaign asking local restaurants and bars to boycott Bon Jovi's music. Former Bills star Andre Reed is standing with them, too: “Man, f— Bon Jovi. You might as well just take this city, throw it in the river, and let it go down Niagara Falls.”
Wilson died in March, leading to the rare sale of an NFL club. Donald Trump is also among those who have expressed interest, as has a group led by the owners of Buffalo's professional hockey franchise.