Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – The Toronto group bidding on the Buffalo Bills is committed to keeping the NFL franchise in Western New York.
Multiple sources said the group, composed of rocker Jon Bon Jovi, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment chairman Larry Tanenbaum and the Rogers family, will not move the team to Toronto.
Bon Jovi, Tanenbaum and the Rogers family each has about a one-third financial stake with the rocker being the principal prospective owner.
Earlier, it was reported that Bon Jovi and Tanenbaum had firm plans to bid on the Bills, and that their intention was to relocate the team to Toronto at the earliest opportunity.
However, Bon Jovi announced that the group has no plan of relocating the Bills to Toronto.
If Bon Jovi decides to relocate to Toronto, he will have to deal with the Bills’ non-relocation agreement (NRA) with Erie County and the state of New York to play at county-owned Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The NRA virtually precludes relocation before a one-time, $28.4-million opt-out in 2020. Otherwise, they will have to play through 2022.
Even if the Toronto group fights the lease in court and win, a $400-million penalty would trigger at that point, per the stadium agreements.
Also, the group must get the approval of 24 of 31 NFL owners to relocate.