Since the passing of longtime Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, the NFL world has been wondering what the next step will be with the ownership of the team. One man who is emerging as a potential buyer is well-known billionaire Donald Trump.
Trump told Tim Graham of the Buffalo News Monday that his interest in buying the Buffalo Bills -- and keeping the team in Buffalo -- is legitimate and serious.
“I’m going to give it a heavy shot,” Trump told [Graham] by phone from his office in Manhattan. “I would love to do it, and if I can do it I’m keeping it in Buffalo.”
Trump singled out the loyalty of Bills fans and the important role the team plays in the Western New York region as reasons for keeping the franchise in Buffalo.
“I live in New York, and it’s easier for me to go to Buffalo than any other place,” Trump said. “Where am I going to move it, some place on the other side of the country, where I have to travel for five hours?”
Unfortunately for Trump, his last experience with ownership of a football team came with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL, which crumbled when Trump led a charge to move the league's games from the spring to the fall where they would go head-to-head with the NFL. Trump even recommended a merger, but the USFL folded before any further steps could be taken.
With Trump now looking to get back in the ownership game, he is attempting to distance himself from his USFL failures and doesn't seem to believe that those past experiences will hurt his chance of buying an NFL team.
“When I came into the USFL, it was failing,” Trump told Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. “It was ready to close.
“I had said, ‘If football was meant to be played in the spring, then God wouldn’t have invented baseball.’ I didn’t believe in spring football, and I wanted to play in the fall. I wanted to go up against the NFL, but with respect.”