According to the Toronto Sun, the bid from a group led by Jon Bon Jovi for the Buffalo Bills has been rejected because it was "uncompetitively low," and because the bank conducting the sale does not believe the group will keep the Bills in Western New York. But they'll get another chance.
Initial bids were submitted last week, with the reported highest bid of $1.3 billion coming from Sabres owner Terry Pegula, who has long been the presumed front-runner. But you'd expect the group fronted by Jon Bon Jovi, and also including MLSE head Larry Tanenbaum and Canada's powerful Rogers family, to have its own fair share of cash. Maybe not: Morgan Stanley has reportedly asked the Bon Jovi group to resubmit its bid, and to try not to make it laughable this time.
While some reports last week said the Bon Jovi/Toronto group had bid $1.2 billion, the amount was considerably less, perhaps under $900 million. Their ultimate bid limit is believed to be somewhere approaching $1.2 billion.
As the group mulled whether it could — or even should — continue, it received word from Morgan Stanley it could resubmit a more lucrative non-binding first bid, so long as it also provided more convincing assurances it would keep the team in Western New York.
Also reportedly at issue is the belief that the group, with two of the principals based in Toronto, have at least tentative plans to relocate the Bills to Canada. The fact that they have studied three potential stadium sites in Ontario doesn't help.
Nor did Bon Jovi's open letter to the people of Buffalo, published in the Buffalo News on Sunday, in which the group attempted to "clarify our intentions." It backfired: it appeared desperate, amateurish, and contained no promises of keeping the team in town.
The Bon Jovi group will be allowed to resubmit a larger bid, but there's no guarantee it will be accepted—the terms of the Bills' lease bans them from negotiating with any potential owner who is seeking to relocate the team. And even if it is accepted, it sounds like the Bon Jovi group may never have intended to go as high as even Pegula's initial bid.
Final and binding bids will likely be due before the start of the NFL season. Clock's ticking.