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'Bills are here to stay,' new owner pledges

Having received approval for the purchase of the team, Terry Pegula has promised not to move the Bills out of Buffalo.

Rick Stewart

Terry Pegula's $1.4 billion bid for the Buffalo Bills was approved earlier this week, and and his first order of business has been reassuring the people of Western New York that their team isn't going anywhere.

"The Bills are here to stay," Pegula pledged in a statement released by the team on Friday. "We are truly honored to represent this team and everything it stands for and are dedicated to sustaining the long-term success of this franchise."

Following the death of longtime owner Ralph Wilson, who bought the team in 1959 for the astounding price of $25,000, fans in the Buffalo area feared the franchise would be bought and moved to Toronto, where the Bills had begun playing an annual regular season game. A Toronto-based group headlined by Jon Bon Jovi was among the final bidders, as well as billionaire Donald Trump.

Pegula, who was born in Pennsylvania, already owns another Buffalo-based pro sports team: the NHL's Sabres. The purchase of the Bills is expected to be finalized this week.

Pegula's statement can be read in its entirety below.