Niagara Gazette

Sports

November 25, 2013

Publicist refutes Bon Jovi's pursuit of Bills

(Continued)

Wilson, who lives in suburban Detroit, has already scaled back his control of the team. On Jan. 1, Russ Brandon was promoted to the position of team president, giving him full control of the franchise's day-to-day operations.

The team's short-term future in Buffalo was also secured in December, when the Bills signed a 10-year lease with the state and Erie County to continue playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The $271 million deal includes a provision that essentially locks the Bills in for the next seven seasons. The franchise would have to pay $400 million if it decides to leave before 2020. The team then has the option of buying out the remaining three years of the lease for $28 million.

Several groups have expressed interest in purchasing the Bills, including one led by Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly.

In response to the report regarding Bon Jovi, the Bills released a statement on Sunday, saying: "The organization does not respond to reports of the interest other parties may have in ownership or of speculation concerning various groups that may have such interest."

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz also issued a statement Sunday saying he's had no discussions with Bon Jovi.

Sunshine disputed another portion of the CBSSports.com report, which cited unidentified music industry sources as saying Bon Jovi's pursuit of an NFL team was likely connected to the dismissal of the band's longtime lead guitarist, Richie Sambora, in April.

Sunshine said the split had nothing to do with Bon Jovi's NFL aspirations and referred to previous reports that Sambora was never fired. He noted the guitarist said he was dropping out of the band's world tour because of "personal issues."

Last week, Sambora told TMZ that he's been in contact with Bon Jovi and indicated he is open to rejoining the band.

The Bills (4-7) are coming off their bye weekend off and preparing to host Atlanta in Buffalo's annual "home" game at Toronto on Sunday.

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