Jon Bon Jovi is speaking out publicly for the first time about the controversy surrounding his involvement in a bid to purchase the Buffalo Bills NFL team.
In the past, Bon Jovi has expressed his interested in purchasing an NFL team. When Bills owner Ralph Wilson died in March, the team became available for a rare sale. Bon Jovi expressed his interested in purchasing the team and rumors began to circulate that his Toronto-based investment firm, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which include owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC, would move the Bills out of Buffalo and across the border to Toronto.
In an open letter published by the Buffalo News on Sunday (August 3rd), the rocker tries to defuse those plans and reassure fans that he and his partners intend to “carry on the legacy of Ralph Wilson and make the Bills successful in Buffalo.”
“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,” the rock star writes.
“Being part of the NFL is something I have been working toward for a long time,” he continues. “Ten years ago, I started by taking an expansion Arena Football team, the Philadelphia Soul, from its inception to winning a championship in five years. I wanted to learn what it takes to build a successful football organization. I was involved in every aspect of that team from its beginning and I lived for and loved every moment.
“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.
“I know how much the Bills mean to the people of this region. So I want you to hear this from me: I’m not risking it all to let you down. If we are given the chance to be the next owners of the Buffalo Bills, I promise you that we will bring the same passion that you do every Sunday, every day.”
New Football Hall of Famer and former Bills Wide Receiver Andre Reed spoke to New York Magazine in July and had some strong words about the rocker’s bid on the Bills.
“If we are given the chance to be the next owners of the Buffalo Bills, I promise you that we will bring the same passion that you do every Sunday, every day.”
“Man, f— Bon Jovi!” Reed said. “You might as well just take this city, throw it in the river, and let it go down Niagara Falls.”
Reed later apologized to Bon Jovi stating, “Those comments were off the record. This guy from the magazine ended up printing what I said. I would not say that to be printed in a magazine. I said that stuff, thinking the guy wouldn’t put it in there. He was looking for a story, and he put it in there. I have nothing against Bon Jovi. I’ve got nothing against Johnny Manziel. I don’t even know him.
“On the other end of that, Johnny Manziel is a rookie; he hasn’t done anything yet,” Reed continued. “And people in Buffalo don’t want Bon Jovi to buy the team and move it. So basically I said stuff people would maybe say. It happened, and I apologize to Bon Jovi and I apologize to Johnny Manziel. I meant nothing about it.”
In May, a group called 12th Man Thunder began an online petition to keep the Bills in Buffalo. They also began a campaign to get bars and restaurants throughout the region to ban Bon Jovi’s music.
“We’ve had it with Jon Bon Jovi and his Toronto ownership group working to steal our team,” co-founder of 12th Man Thunder Charles Sonntag states. “There are thousands of fans that agree with us, so we decided to start the ‘Bon Jovi Free Zone’ promotion to let him and the poachers in Toronto know that we won’t just stand by and let them move the Bills to Toronto. We’re asking Buffalo area bars and restaurants to contact us and we’ll give them a free poster to show their commitment to banning Bon Jovi music from their premises.”
Donald Trump and a group led by the owners of the Buffalo Sabers, Buffalo’s National Hockey Team (NHL) team, have expressed interested in purchasing the Buffalo Bills. No deal has been made as of press time.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.