Jim Kelly, the Buffalo Bills’ Hall of Fame quarterback, met recently with Jon Bon Jovi to discuss joining together in an attempt to purchase the Bills but backed out because of concerns that the team could be moved.
Kelly and bond investor Jeffrey Gundlach, who has been working with Kelly’s group, made the decision, the Buffalo News reported. “I can confirm that Jim Kelly met with Jon Bon Jovi, but Kelly and Jeffrey Gundlach will not be pursuing a relationship with the Toronto group,” an unnamed source wrote in an email to Tim Graham of the News. “Kelly and Gundlach do not feel confident that their aspirations for keeping the Bills in Buffalo long-term are aligned with the interests of the Toronto group.”
It’s another blow for Bon Jovi, who is working with Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and members of the family that owns Rogers Communications. A letter the singer he wrote last month failed to assure fans that he wouldn’t be interested in moving the team and contacting Kelly was seen as a Hail Mary move, according to Graham. A source told Graham that there is “major tension” in the group.
Earlier this month, Kelly and Gundlach, along with Kelly’s brother, Dan, asked the Bills trust to match them with an established group. Dan Kelly met with Donald Trump, another prospective bidder, but has not met with Terry and Kim Pergula. Terry Pegula, the Buffalo Sabres owner, and Tom Golisano, from whom he bought the NHL team, are considered the front-runners in the bidding.