Vancouver’s Aquilini family is among a group of parties interested in purchasing the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, according to The Buffalo News.
The Bills went up for sale after their owner Ralph Wilson died this past March.
In his story, reporter Tim Graham explains that sources have said that the Aquilini family “have gone deep into the process to at least have signed the Bills’ nondisclosure agreement.” His sources also said about 60 NDAs went out but less than 20 were signed and returned.
Forbes has the Bills valued at $870 million (which ranks them #30 out of 32 teams) while a recent article says Donald Trump made an offer in the mid-800s. For comparison, the most valuable team in the NFL is the Dallas Cowboys, worth $2.3 billion.
While the total net worth of the Aquilini family is unknown, amounts suggested in the past have been around the $5 billion mark.
If the purchase is successful, the team will remain in Buffalo. There are no plans to move the team to Vancouver given the enormous local interest and corporate support required to sustain a successful team over the long-term. A relocation would also need approvals and a stadium with at least 60,000 seats.
BC Place Stadium currently seats approximately 54,000 following the 2011 renovation which reduced its original seating capacity from 60,000. The new seats are wider to accommodate growing body sizes.
Update: August 11, 2014
Francesco Aquilini confirmed with The Buffalo News that he did have interest in purchasing the Bills, but has since withdrawn. Aquilini said the following in a statement to the news group:
“I’m always exploring potential business opportunities, and I’m passionate about sports. So this is something that interested me. However, we are not planning to pursue the opportunity further.”
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Source: The Buffalo News
Feature Image: Vancouver Canucks