Jon Bon Jovi posted an open letter to Buffalo Bills fans in Sunday’s (August 3rd) Buffalo News. Bon Jovi has come under fire by Bills fans -- a great many of whom are convinced that should the New Jersey rocker and his partners purchase the team, they will move the Bills to Toronto. The Bills currently play in Orchard Park, New York -- near Buffalo -- at Ralph Wilson Stadium, which is the NFL’s sixth-oldest stadium currently in use.
The Washington Post reported that fans have a good reason to be suspect, seeing as how Bon Jovi’s "two main partners are from Toronto, and another is the chairman of the company that owns the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, and another is Rogers Communications, which owns the Toronto Blue Jays."
The Post went on to explain, that the Bills have "a lease with Erie County, which owns Ralph Wilson Stadium, that runs through 2022, and they’ll likely play their games there until at least 2019, assuming no new stadium in Buffalo is built. In 2020 and 2020 only, the team has a buyout clause that allows them to break the lease for just $28.4 million. If the Bills announce plans to move in any other year over the duration of the lease, they’ll have to pay a $400 million penalty."
Bon Jovi's Open Letter To Buffalo Bills Fans. . .
Recently, there has been a lot of speculation about the future of the Buffalo Bills and questions surrounding the ownership group of which I am a part. Until now, we have not said anything publicly out of respect for Mr. Wilson, his family and the process they are undertaking to identify the right group to carry the franchise forward.
However, there has been a lot of conjecture, so we think it’s important to clarify our intentions to the fans of the team and people of Buffalo.
Our objective is simple: 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.
Being part of the NFL is something I have been working toward for a long time. 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.
Jon Bon Jovi told us that football will always be a lifelong passion for him: "I'm intrigued by it. Yeah, I love football. I absolutely love the game -- it's the only sport I care about. Y'know, if you offered me the Yankees or the Mets or the Knicks, I would say, 'That's nice,' but I love football."
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