Opinion: Should Buffalo Bills Fans Be Scared Terry Pegula Will Sell Teams?
The owner of the Buffalo Bills, Sabres, Bandits, and Rochester Americans has a Western New York sports empire. Is he looking to sell it?
To be clear, there are no official reports about a sale. There are always rumors and hearsay, which don’t amount to facts. This is an opinion piece on why the Pegulas might sell, not a report.
The Pegulas Buy the Sabres, then the Bills
Terry and Kim Pegula entered the professional sports scene in 2011 when they bought the Buffalo Sabres from Tom Golisano for $189 million. He immediately improved the area around the Sabres' arena, now called KeyBank Center, with the development of places like Harbor Center. He promised to create a “Hockey Heaven” in Buffalo. The team, unfortunately, wasn’t what anyone hoped for. They have missed the playoffs now for 12 straight seasons. However, there is no denying the progress of the Buffalo community and its overall positive impact.
Three years after the purchase of the Sabres, the Pegulas bought the Buffalo Bills from the estate of their original owner, Ralph Wilson, for $1.4 Billion in cash. This outbid the likes of Jon Bon Jovi and former President Donald Trump who were each trying to buy the team. The Bills have been an incredible success under the Pegulas, now regularly competing in the playoffs and being Super Bowl favorites after a 17-year playoff drought.
They have since secured a $1.4 Billion new stadium for the Bills in Orchard Park: one that uses nearly a billion dollars of taxpayer money. This has been a major issue for many who do not believe the Pegulas should have used public funds. Also, many were upset the stadium is not being built in the city of Buffalo. Several fans are upset it does not have a roof. Nevertheless, the Stadium deal is now 100% completed.
Kim Pegula has been a major part of the ownership, being president of both the Bills and Sabres. However, a sudden health issue has sadly seen her take a large step back from the operations. She had a medical emergency back in June 2022. She was hospitalized and put in intensive care. It was later revealed she went into cardiac arrest and suffered a significant brain injury. Jessica Pegula, one of Terry and Kim’s daughters and a professional tennis player, revealed this, as well as he mother is now suffering from significant expressive aphasia and memory issues due to her cardiac arrest.
A public prayer service was held on Saturday, April 29 at Houghton University, Kim’s alma mater, where hundreds prayed for her recovery.
Why Might Terry Pegula Sell the Buffalo Bills and Sabres?
There are no official reports of the Pegulas selling the teams. Let’s once again reiterate that this is an opinion piece as to why he might be getting ready to do so.
Terry and Kim absolutely split the duties of ownership. While Terry may have brought the cash to buy the teams, Kim was absolutely their face, voice, and ambassador. She is a bright light in a room of generally old men both in the NFL and NHL. Her loss to these organizations is massive.
If Terry wanted to sell the teams, it would be understandable. The venture he went into with his beloved wife as his partner is a personal loss that should never be taken for granted. Terry is a human being who is no doubt going through a lot emotionally. It would be understandable if he wanted to move on to take more care of his wife and family. Plus, it’s easy to see how buying these teams was probably personal between Terry and Kim. They wanted to do this all together. With Kim’s condition, it is likely that can’t happen ever again. Terry isn’t losing just a business partner, he’s possibly losing the biggest reason why he did it all in the first place.
That being said, it would also make a lot of financial sense.
Combined, the Pegulas paid nearly $1.6 Billion for the Bills and Sabres. They would make a lot more than that by selling them today. The Buffalo Bills are worth an estimated $3.4 Billion. The Buffalo Sabres are worth an estimated $600 million. That’s a big increase from the $1.4 Billion and $189 million he paid for both teams, respectively. That’s an estimated $4 Billion he would bring in: a $3.6 Billion profit.
If The Pegulas Did Sell The Teams
If he does sell, he did do Buffalo and Western New York a large favor when it comes to the Buffalo Bills in terms of their longevity in the region. The new stadium deal, while using more public funds than anyone has ever used to build a new stadium, locks the team to Buffalo. If he did sell, the new owners can’t move them away because of this deal. At least, not without penalties. Plus the NHL has no interest in moving the Buffalo Sabres. It’s a massively strong market for them, despite the team’s issues, and it just would not make sense for them to allow a move. So even if they did sell the teams, they would be staying in Buffalo.
No one knows the future, but it seems as though the teams staying in Buffalo is more than just likely. Will the Pegulas sell? We’ll have to wait and see.
Our deepest thoughts and prayers to Kim Pegula and the Pegula family. We hope she has a full recovery, and we hope the Pegulas are here to stay for a long, long time. In a perfect world, she will recover and return to her role with the teams. We hope it happens.