Jim Kelly met last week with rocker Jon Bon Jovi to discuss partnering to bid for the Buffalo Bills, but the Hall of Fame quarterback walked away over concerns the team could be moved to Toronto, The Buffalo News reported Monday.
Citing a source close to them, the paper reported that Kelly and bond investor Jeffrey Gundlach, who has been working with Kelly’s group, have reservations about the Toronto group’s willingness to keep the franchise in western New York.
Kelly’s brother and business manager, Dan Kelly, didn’t return the newspaper’s calls, and Morgan Stanley, the bank overseeing the sale for Ralph Wilson’s trust, issued a "no comment."
Bon Jovi is aligned with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Chairman Larry Tanenbaum and members of the family that owns Rogers Communications, which has a business relationship with the Bills. The singer has become the target of fan hatred in Buffalo because of fears over his group’s plans.
A letter the singer sent to the newspaper last month failed to put those fears to rest, and reaching out to the player who led the franchise to four straight trips to the Super Bowl may have been an attempt at restoring the Toronto group’s image as it battles several other groups and individuals to buy the team.
Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula and the man he bought that NHL team from, Tom Golisano, are widely regarded as strong candidates to buy the Bills and receive quick approval from NFL owners.