Donald Trump approached to buy the Buffalo Bills

Audio Interview: Donald Trump in discussions to buy the Buffalo Bills

4/1/14 in NFL   |   JoeKukura   |   492 respect

Blog Photo - Donald Trump approached to buy the Buffalo BillsThis is not an April Fool's joke -- though April 1 is the seven-year anniversary of the day that Donald Trump shaved Vince McMahon's head at Wrestlemania XXIII. In all seriousness, people -- real estate mogul, reality TV star, one-time presidential candidate and four-time bankruptcy declarer Donald Trump claims he has been approached by an investment group to join in the purchase of the Buffalo Bills franchise.

Take Trump's claims with a grain of salt. In the same interview, Trump claimed he was considering running for governor of New York and that he was considering running for president again. He will probably do none of these things. Donald Trump likes to declare intriguing possibilities involving Donald Trump.

That said, Donald Trump is considering ownership in the Buffalo Bills, according to an interview he did Tuesday morning with WBEN in Buffalo. You can listen to the Donald Trump interview about buying the Buffalo Bills online. His remarks on potential involvement in purchase of the Bills begins at the 6:10 mark of that interview.

"People have actually talked to me about the Bills," Trump told John Zach and Susan Rose of WBEN. "A group of people called me, 'Would I be interested in investing?'. And I'll take a look at it. I look at a lot of things. It's certainly a wonderful franchise. The people are amazing, the fans are amazing in Buffalo."

Since owner Ralph Wilson's passing, the Buffalo Bills are owned by a trust controlled by Wilson's heirs. The team is likely to be sold, but finding a buyer may take years.

"I know so many people in Buffalo, and they have asked me about looking at that and I certainly would look at it," Trump said in the interview. "If it were me, I'd keep the team in Buffalo. It's a storied franchise."

Blog Photo - Donald Trump approached to buy the Buffalo BillsTrump has previously owned the USFL's New Jersey Generals from 1983 to 1985, when the league dissolved.

"It's something that I think is really vital to the area," Trump said. "It would be catastrophic, in my opinion, if Buffalo lost the Buffalo Bills."

He is addressing rumors that the Bills franchise might move to Los Angeles, Toronto or London. The Bills' current lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium does go until 2022, but you can ask Cleveland Browns fans how ironclad those leases really are.

Does Trump really have the money to buy an NFL franchise? Trump claims he's worth $10 billion.  Forbes has him at a $3.9 billion net worth. Using the Forbes figure, Trump is wealthier than Cowboys owner Jerry Jones -- but has a slightly lower net worth than Jaguars owner Shahid Khan. Trump would be the NFL's sixth-wealthiest owner if he bought a team. So yes, he has the money.

But would the NFL have him? Even if he were just a minority investor, Trump would have to be approved by the NFL. The NFL hates controversy. Donald Trump wears controversy every day is if it were a hairpiece. You'll recall Trump's various public declarations about President Obama's birth certificate, Obama's election being rigged and vaccines causing autism. Donald Trump does WWE appearances and tacky reality shows. He is unlikely to be seen by the NFL as ownership material.

I'm guessing Trump would be unlikely to pass the NFL ownership vetting process -- even as an apprentice. But he does have the personal wealth that merits investors approaching him about the process. And when it comes to generating publicity about Donald Trump, no one circles the wagons like Donald Trump.
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