Bon Jovi not pursuing NFL's Bills, publicist says
Reports speculate rocker may play role in luring team to Toronto
While Jon Bon Jovi is interested in becoming an NFL owner one day, he's not currently pursuing the Buffalo Bills, the New Jersey rocker's publicist told The Associated Press on Monday. It's a statement that could pour cold water on recent stories speculating about the potential of the Bills one day relocating to Toronto.
"The Bills are not for sale, and he has too much respect for Mr. Wilson to engage in any discussions of buying the team," Ken Sunshine said, referring to Ralph Wilson, the team's owner.
Saying Bon Jovi has "a day job that's doing very well," Sunshine added: "It's preposterous to say he's had any discussions with the Bills and Erie County."
Sunshine spoke by phone a day after CBSSports.com posted a story citing unidentified sources that Bon Jovi is among the parties positioning themselves to purchase the Bills after Wilson's death.
Wilson, who turned 95 last month, has maintained he has no interest in selling the franchise during his lifetime.
The Toronto Star reported Monday that Bon Jovi may be working with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in an effort to bring the Bills to Toronto.
The paper quoted MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke saying that he and Bon Jovi are good friends who speak regularly about their NFL ambitions.
Even if the Bills would be willing to sell, NFL teams have a market value of about $1 billion. Toronto would also need to build a new stadium to be considered a serious contender for an NFL franchise.
Toronto Coun. Mark Grimes, an ardent football fan, told CBC News on Monday that any move to bring the Bills to Toronto must not come at the expense of the CFL's Toronto Argonauts, who currently play at the Rogers Centre.
"We should make sure the CFL is stabilized before we even talk about the NFL," he told CBC's Steven D'Souza. "It would be great to have both. Could they work together? Absolutely."
Postmedia Network CEO Paul Godfrey has worked for years to bring an NFL team to Toronto. He says patience is key.
"I think it's gonna happen someday," he told CBC News. "I continue to be passionate about it, I'll do whatever I can to make sure it happens."
The Bills currently play one home game a year in Toronto and on Sunday they will host the Atlanta Falcons at Rogers Centre.
With files from The Associated Press