Donald Trump says he’s serious about buying the Buffalo Bills. Really, he says he is.
After flirting with runs for office and never doing it — including a run for governor this year — Trump is now making waves about his interest in buying the Bills, who will be on the block as soon as this year.
“It’s very serious,” Erie County Republican chairman Nick Langworthy told Gannett’s WGRZ in Buffalo. “He’s long had an interest in professional sports.”
“I’m going to give it a heavy shot,” Trump told The Buffalo News yesterday. “I would love to do it, and if I can do it, I’m keeping it in Buffalo.”
Langworthy, who was a leader of the Trump for governor movement, met with the celebrity billionaire on Monday in Manhattan.
And Langworthy said Trump “doing all due diligence” as he considers making an offer to purchase the franchise.
The acquisition would be close to $1 billion, Langworthy said, although it’s unclear at this point if Trump would work by himself or with an ownership group to make a bid.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s spokesman, said Trump wouldn’t need a partner.
“If he wanted to buy the Bills himself,” Cohen told WGRZ, “It would not be a problem.”
Cohen told the station that Trump is already in touch with both the Bills and the National Football League, and he said he’s now waiting to learn the full value of the franchise before proceeding.
The league’s anti-gambling stance would hurt Trump’s bid because of Trump Entertainment Resorts, a casino and hotel company. However, despite bearing Trump’s name, Langworthy said Trump has no managing authority and already sold a “massive portion” of his casino holdings. At this point, Langworthy said Trump simply owns common stock in the publicly-traded company.
Cohen also added that years ago, Trump received the publicly-traded stock in exchange for the naming rights after he sold his casino holdings.
Cohen and Langworthy both said Trump would have no problem selling that stock, if necessary.
“We talked about that for some time today,” Langworthy said.
And of course, there is Trump failed USFL in the 1980s, which still leaves wounds with the NFL.
“It seems to be something that will happen in a matter of just a few months,” Langworthy said. “The team and trust are currently putting appropriate paperwork together, and the evaluation of the team, before they formally solicit bids for the purchase.”