Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula won the bidding process and has reached an agreement to purchase the Buffalo Bills, the team announced Tuesday afternoon.
The Wilson family trust has reached a definitive agreement with the Pegula family that transfers all interest in the Bills franchise to the Pegulas. The agreement will be presented to NFL owners at their meeting in New York City on Oct. 8 to seek approval to finalize the sale.
The final sale price is $1.4 billion, according to Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal. Kaplan is reporting that Pegula's bid was chosen over five other offers.
Bills controlling owner Mary Wilson said via a team release:
"This is a very important day in the history of the Buffalo Bills franchise. Ralph brought professional football to Buffalo in 1959 and it was his life's passion. He loved his team and he cherished the fans and his legacy will remain for all-time. Ralph would have been pleased with the sale of the team to the Terry Pegula family, who has been so committed to Buffalo and the Western New York region."
"I sincerely wish Terry and Kim Pegula all the best with the Buffalo Bills and I'm happy for all Bills fans. Our hope is that this great franchise brings them as much excitement and joy as it did for Ralph and that they bring home a Super Bowl championship for Bills fans everywhere. Go Bills!"
The deal comes after an extensive bidding process that included bids from Donald Trump, a group led by Jon Bon Jovi and two other bidders. Franchise relocation was floated as a possibility during the bidding process, but with Pegula winning that will not be the case. Pegula will instead keep the team in Buffalo to go along with his ownership of the Sabres. He was viewed as a favorite during the process, despite a strong push from other groups including the Toronto-based group that Jon Bon Jovi was initially part of.
If accurate, the reported $1.4 billion purchase price will set a new NFL record, topping the $1.1 billion Stephen Ross paid to purchase the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium. Jimmy Haslam reportedly paid $1.05 billion when he bought the Cleveland Browns in 2012. Forbes recently valued the Bills at $935 million, well below the reported purchase price.