Two people familiar with the Buffalo Bills' sale process confirmed to the Associated Press on Thursday that Donald Trump was the first to receive a presentation. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)
Buffalo, N.Y. ó The sale of the Bills entered the next phase with prospective ownership groups, including Donald Trump, meeting with team officials to prepare formal bids.
The New York real estate mogul was the first to receive a presentation. Trumpís meeting was held in the Detroit area on Wednesday. Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula and a Toronto group fronted by rocker Jon Bon Jovi reportedly also have scheduled meetings.
Former Sabres owner Tom Golisano also Golisano submitted a non-binding bid to the banking firm overseeing the sale.
The Bills are on the market after Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson died in March.
The Buffalo News first reported the development on its website.
During the meetings, prospective buyers receive extensive financial and background information on the franchise. Bids are expected to be submitted within three weeks.
A prospective owner is expected to be identified by the end of next month, and then presented to NFL owners for approval at league meetings in New York in early October.
Bills president Russ Brandon is involved in making the presentations on behalf of Morgan Stanley, the banking firm hired by Wilsonís estate to oversee the sale.
Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and his brother Dan Kelly, who runs the familyís business interests, are also involved in the meetings. Though the Kellys have expressed interest in purchasing the team, itís unclear if they have submitted a bid.
The Pegulas and Trump are considered the front-runners. Both have the assets to complete what is expected to be a $1 billion-plus purchase, and they also have expressed a commitment to keep the Bills in western New York.
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