The proposed sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer may also have a huge impact on the future of the NFL and the league’s potential return to Los Angeles for the first time since 1994.
With the recent passing of Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, a trust has been set up to sell the team and finding the highest bidder may take precedence over finding an owner willing to keep the team in Buffalo.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz (the Bills’ lease is with Erie County) told WBEN radio in Buffalo that the team does have interested buyers who want to relocate the team.
Up until this point, the thought of moving the team centered on interest from groups in Toronto, including one with Jon Bon Jovi, wanting to move the team across the border.
Poloncarz said those involved expected the Bills to sell for “$800 million to potentially a billion dollars.” However, Poloncarz speculates that the Clippers’s $US2 billion price tag could up the bidding for the Bills.
The problem for Buffalo is that the team is worth a lot more in Los Angeles than it is in Buffalo and prospective owners will be willing to bid more if they can move the team, something Poloncarz acknowledges.
The catch is the Bills’ lease requires the team to remain in Buffalo until at least 2020 when the new owner will have the option of buying out of the lease for $US28.4 million.
At that point, the new owner will be free to move the team. If it goes to Los Angeles, the value of the team will instantly soar.
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