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Bills' Sale Could Lead To Stadium on U.S. Side of The Falls

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#1 dcjoev

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:15 PM

This is just a hunch, but I think Ralph Wilson Jr. has finally come to his senses (or has been advised that it's in his best interests to sell the team before he and it expires).

Bear with me, but it's quite possible that a sale and a future stadium plan have been in place for some time now, and the Bills are just waiting until the end of the season to pull the trigger on the "major announcement."

One comment on this forum caught my eye today. It was in response to a post that claimed that a rumor is circulating about the sale of the team to Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas. In it, Tombstone56 wrote: "Dare to Dream... Jim Kelly hangs with Howard Milstein (also known as NFR)." This interested me because I recently noticed something online about the Bills and Milstein, who is a wealthy Manhattan real estate mogul.

NFR refers to a private company known as Niagara Falls Redevelopment, which Milstein owns. Milstein also has close ties to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, who tapped him to head the N.Y. State Thruway Authority. But most important is the fact that Milstein owns "more than 140 acres of prime land that is adjacent to Niagara Falls and a state park."

Kelly and Milstein are connected because the Executive VP of NFR is Jim's former agent, Roger Trevino (aka the deal maker that brought high-wire act Nik Wallenda to Niagara Falls in June). According to the Niagara Falls Reporter newspaper, Trevino said "several serious proposals have been made to the city about development opportunities for the property over the last several months."

Of course, Kelly has hinted that he has spoke to and would be willing to jump on board with various ownership groups, who have partners with more than enough means to buy the Bills. But Jimbo and the Thurminator don't have anywhere near the cash to pony up for majority ownership.

I think a more distinct possibility is a sale by Wilson to a group made of numerous investors, with one of them owning at least 30% of the franchise. Kelly and Thomas would receive a small stake in the team, in return for being its ambassadors from here on out.

For years, Wilson has stated that he would not sell the team during his lifetime. But perhaps he's had a change of heart, with the possibility of the inheritance tax going up from 33% to 50% on Tuesday. Instead of leaving it for his heirs to sell, Wilson could agree in principle to a deal, if his daughter retains a role in, or is granted part-ownership of the team. With Kelly's loyalty and the influence he and Thomas have in Buffalo as fellow Hall of Famers, Jim could be in line for an Executive VP of Football Operations position, which John Elway was granted in Denver.  

In any case, he and Thomas would be the "old" faces of a "new" Bills franchise, which would be a tremendous plan, from a marketing and PR standpoint.

I recently came across an interview with Kelly and an intriguing column by Tony Farina of the Niagara Falls Reporter.

Again, it's all speculative, but can you imagine the Bills moving a few miles down the road in seven years? It's entirely possible because Buffalo's new lease agreement has a clause in it that allows the Bills to opt out of playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium in seven years, for a mere $28 million).

With all of the hard work Bills CEO Russ Brandon has put into the team's regionalization efforts (in Toronto and Rochester), a sale to a Niagara Falls, New York-based group is a no-brainer. And with Governor Cuomo's blessings and the 10-year lease deal attained on December 21 (to renovate the Ralph), the team will have plenty of time to build an "international" dome on the U.S. side of the Falls.

I personally think the idea of a stadium-based convention center and sports museum in downtown Niagara is brilliant. If it comes true, it would be good for New York, Toronto, Buffalo, the Bills and the NFL. It would most definitely attract tourists year-round from all over the world. And it would secure the Bills' future (and perhaps a Super Bowl) in Western New York, once and for all!

#2 MaineMoxie

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:22 PM

It actually would fit the general modus operandi of most of the key players and I could see it fitting in in Niagara Falls in a weird sort of way.  I don't know if I like it, but if it were true I could at least live with it.

Of course, it's all a pipe dream because Wilson is one of the most stubborn men on earth so I think he'll be true to his word about not selling until he's dead (which, given how stubborn he is, will probably not happen for another decade).

#3 nucci

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:24 PM

View PostMaineMoxie, on 29 December 2012 - 08:22 PM, said:

It actually would fit the general modus operandi of most of the key players and I could see it fitting in in Niagara Falls in a weird sort of way.  I don't know if I like it, but if it were true I could at least live with it.

Of course, it's all a pipe dream because Wilson is one of the most stubborn men on earth so I think he'll be true to his word about not selling until he's dead (which, given how stubborn he is, will probably not happen for another decade).
You know Ralph personally?

#4 MaineMoxie

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:26 PM

View Postnucci, on 29 December 2012 - 08:24 PM, said:

You know Ralph personally?

He's my brother's uncle's cousin's roommate's son's best friend's father's best friend.

#5 jjmac

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:47 PM

View PostMaineMoxie, on 29 December 2012 - 08:26 PM, said:



He's my brother's uncle's cousin's roommate's son's best friend's father's best friend.

Was that once or twice removed?

#6 mrags

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:47 PM

First thing. The NFL owners and the NFL itself would have to agree on any ownership team taking over.

Second, there would have to be a majority share holder of 51% for a deal like this to be possible.

Third, Ralph would still have to sell the team and as far as anyone is concerned, he hasn't done so. So were all just pissing in the wind hoping this is gonna happen until he says otherwise.

With that said, I am with you and believe the Bills aren't going anywhere. I do believe the property in NF is an option as well as any open availability downtown.

As a fellow word if advice, don't expect this post to last more than 1-2 pages without being closed since its talked about on just about every other post.

#7 SBUffalo

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:52 PM

If I was Ralph I would sell the team right now and use all the money on babes and blow until I died. Screw giving millions away in a will.

#8 mitchmurraydowntown

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:15 PM

Bare, just saying.

View Postdcjoev, on 29 December 2012 - 08:15 PM, said:

This is just a hunch, but I think Ralph Wilson Jr. has finally come to his senses (or has been advised that it's in his best interests to sell the team before he and it expires).

Bear with me, but it's quite possible that a sale and a future stadium plan have been in place for some time now, and the Bills are just waiting until the end of the season to pull the trigger on the "major announcement."

One comment on this forum caught my eye today. It was in response to a post that claimed that a rumor is circulating about the sale of the team to Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas. In it, Tombstone56 wrote: "Dare to Dream... Jim Kelly hangs with Howard Milstein (also known as NFR)." This interested me because I recently noticed something online about the Bills and Milstein, who is a wealthy Manhattan real estate mogul.

NFR refers to a private company known as Niagara Falls Redevelopment, which Milstein owns. Milstein also has close ties to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, who tapped him to head the N.Y. State Thruway Authority. But most important is the fact that Milstein owns "more than 140 acres of prime land that is adjacent to Niagara Falls and a state park."

Kelly and Milstein are connected because the Executive VP of NFR is Jim's former agent, Roger Trevino (aka the deal maker that brought high-wire act Nik Wallenda to Niagara Falls in June). According to the Niagara Falls Reporter newspaper, Trevino said "several serious proposals have been made to the city about development opportunities for the property over the last several months."

Of course, Kelly has hinted that he has spoke to and would be willing to jump on board with various ownership groups, who have partners with more than enough means to buy the Bills. But Jimbo and the Thurminator don't have anywhere near the cash to pony up for majority ownership.

I think a more distinct possibility is a sale by Wilson to a group made of numerous investors, with one of them owning at least 30% of the franchise. Kelly and Thomas would receive a small stake in the team, in return for being its ambassadors from here on out.

For years, Wilson has stated that he would not sell the team during his lifetime. But perhaps he's had a change of heart, with the possibility of the inheritance tax going up from 33% to 50% on Tuesday. Instead of leaving it for his heirs to sell, Wilson could agree in principle to a deal, if his daughter retains a role in, or is granted part-ownership of the team. With Kelly's loyalty and the influence he and Thomas have in Buffalo as fellow Hall of Famers, Jim could be in line for an Executive VP of Football Operations position, which John Elway was granted in Denver.  

In any case, he and Thomas would be the "old" faces of a "new" Bills franchise, which would be a tremendous plan, from a marketing and PR standpoint.

I recently came across an interview with Kelly and an intriguing column by Tony Farina of the Niagara Falls Reporter.

Again, it's all speculative, but can you imagine the Bills moving a few miles down the road in seven years? It's entirely possible because Buffalo's new lease agreement has a clause in it that allows the Bills to opt out of playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium in seven years, for a mere $28 million).

With all of the hard work Bills CEO Russ Brandon has put into the team's regionalization efforts (in Toronto and Rochester), a sale to a Niagara Falls, New York-based group is a no-brainer. And with Governor Cuomo's blessings and the 10-year lease deal attained on December 21 (to renovate the Ralph), the team will have plenty of time to build an "international" dome on the U.S. side of the Falls.

I personally think the idea of a stadium-based convention center and sports museum in downtown Niagara is brilliant. If it comes true, it would be good for New York, Toronto, Buffalo, the Bills and the NFL. It would most definitely attract tourists year-round from all over the world. And it would secure the Bills' future (and perhaps a Super Bowl) in Western New York, once and for all!


#9 AlwaysBilleve

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:52 PM

Good read and interesting thoughts. Like you said, dare to dream...

#10 BisonMan

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:02 PM

No way Wilson sells the team before he dies because his heirs (other than his wife) would be double taxed on the sale. First, Wilson would have to pay capital gains taxes on the team which is basically on the entire value of the team given how low a price he paid for it in the 60s (15%). Then, his estate would have to pay inheritance taxes before the proceeds would go to his heirs (again, other than his wife who would not be subject to inheritance taxes on the portion she received). The actual rate of the inheritance tax would obviously depend on when he dies but that isn't a decision point on when to sell the team.

For example, if he was going to leave his heirs (other than the Mrs) $500M of the team, selling it now would reduce the inheritance to ~$285M. If they sell the team upon his death, the $500M reduces to just $335M. So, selling it after his death saves his heirs around $50M. Not chump change and 10% of their inheritance.

I have always thought a stadium in Niagara Falls would be the best way to keep the Bills in Buffalo provided they came up with a way for Canadian fans to easily cross the border for the games. Drawing from Southern Ontario is the best way for the franchise to stay financially viable and draw in the corporate sponsorship it needs. Changing the name to the the Niagara XXX might also be in order to reflect the regionalization of the team.

Edited by BisonMan, 29 December 2012 - 11:05 PM.


#11 Phlegm Alley

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:07 PM

Excellent post.  

It is a logical workflow that you and others have presented, and the dots that are being connected allows us to hopefully think that something like this does come to fruition.

#12 Marv's Neighbor

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:42 AM

Ask anyone from Niagara Falls...Milstein is a BS'er and a Crook!

He owns a lot of Commercial Property in the old "downtown" area.  Has made all kinds of development promises over the years and never follows through.  If he's tight with Jim, chances are he see's an opportunity to help himself, not Jim, and not the BILLS.  He's a lot like the John Y. Brown of Niagara Falls!

#13 dcjoev

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 01:19 AM

View Postmitchmurraydowntown, on 29 December 2012 - 10:15 PM, said:

Bare, just saying.

Bear is correct, not bare... See link below.

http://www.grammar-m...d/bare_bear.htm

Just Sayin'.

#14 Buffalo Barbarian

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 04:17 AM

View Postdcjoev, on 29 December 2012 - 08:15 PM, said:

This is just a hunch, but I think Ralph Wilson Jr. has finally come to his senses (or has been advised that it's in his best interests to sell the team before he and it expires).

Bear with me, but it's quite possible that a sale and a future stadium plan have been in place for some time now, and the Bills are just waiting until the end of the season to pull the trigger on the "major announcement."

One comment on this forum caught my eye today. It was in response to a post that claimed that a rumor is circulating about the sale of the team to Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas. In it, Tombstone56 wrote: "Dare to Dream... Jim Kelly hangs with Howard Milstein (also known as NFR)." This interested me because I recently noticed something online about the Bills and Milstein, who is a wealthy Manhattan real estate mogul.

NFR refers to a private company known as Niagara Falls Redevelopment, which Milstein owns. Milstein also has close ties to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, who tapped him to head the N.Y. State Thruway Authority. But most important is the fact that Milstein owns "more than 140 acres of prime land that is adjacent to Niagara Falls and a state park."

Kelly and Milstein are connected because the Executive VP of NFR is Jim's former agent, Roger Trevino (aka the deal maker that brought high-wire act Nik Wallenda to Niagara Falls in June). According to the Niagara Falls Reporter newspaper, Trevino said "several serious proposals have been made to the city about development opportunities for the property over the last several months."

Of course, Kelly has hinted that he has spoke to and would be willing to jump on board with various ownership groups, who have partners with more than enough means to buy the Bills. But Jimbo and the Thurminator don't have anywhere near the cash to pony up for majority ownership.

I think a more distinct possibility is a sale by Wilson to a group made of numerous investors, with one of them owning at least 30% of the franchise. Kelly and Thomas would receive a small stake in the team, in return for being its ambassadors from here on out.

For years, Wilson has stated that he would not sell the team during his lifetime. But perhaps he's had a change of heart, with the possibility of the inheritance tax going up from 33% to 50% on Tuesday. Instead of leaving it for his heirs to sell, Wilson could agree in principle to a deal, if his daughter retains a role in, or is granted part-ownership of the team. With Kelly's loyalty and the influence he and Thomas have in Buffalo as fellow Hall of Famers, Jim could be in line for an Executive VP of Football Operations position, which John Elway was granted in Denver.  

In any case, he and Thomas would be the "old" faces of a "new" Bills franchise, which would be a tremendous plan, from a marketing and PR standpoint.

I recently came across an interview with Kelly and an intriguing column by Tony Farina of the Niagara Falls Reporter.

Again, it's all speculative, but can you imagine the Bills moving a few miles down the road in seven years? It's entirely possible because Buffalo's new lease agreement has a clause in it that allows the Bills to opt out of playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium in seven years, for a mere $28 million).

With all of the hard work Bills CEO Russ Brandon has put into the team's regionalization efforts (in Toronto and Rochester), a sale to a Niagara Falls, New York-based group is a no-brainer. And with Governor Cuomo's blessings and the 10-year lease deal attained on December 21 (to renovate the Ralph), the team will have plenty of time to build an "international" dome on the U.S. side of the Falls.

I personally think the idea of a stadium-based convention center and sports museum in downtown Niagara is brilliant. If it comes true, it would be good for New York, Toronto, Buffalo, the Bills and the NFL. It would most definitely attract tourists year-round from all over the world. And it would secure the Bills' future (and perhaps a Super Bowl) in Western New York, once and for all!

As long as they are still called the Buffalo Bills I'm fine with it as long as the team stays in the area.

Of course when I buy the team they will be called the Buffalo Barbarians, but until then it's the Bills.

View PostDStebb716, on 29 December 2012 - 08:52 PM, said:

If I was Ralph I would sell the team right now and use all the money on babes and blow  Viagra until I died. Screw giving millions away in a will.


#15 \GoBillsInDallas/

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:48 AM

Unreal.

Here we have still another thread about how building a new stadium is the "magic bullet" that will keep the Bills in Buffalo and a new stadium in Niagara Falls will lead to an incredible revitalization.

And today's Buffalo newspaper has an article saying that, 10 years since the last "magic bullet" (casino) was built in Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls is still a dump and it's completely unsafe to walk down the street even a block away from the casino.

http://www.buffalone...EGION/121229286

"It didn't work 10 years ago, it's never worked in the past, but, by golly, it'll work this time!

:wallbash:

#16 papazoid

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:02 AM

#1- ralph is NOT selling the team while he is alive....

#2- the big news will be ralph cleans house.....nix, gailey and all coaches fired.....jim kelly will be given a position similar to what john elway has with the broncos (executive vice president of football operations) and asst gm doug whaley will be promoted to GM and report to kelly.

#17 Hsp08

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:07 AM

View Postpapazoid, on 30 December 2012 - 09:02 AM, said:

#1- ralph is NOT selling the team while he is alive....

#2- the big news will be ralph cleans house.....nix, gailey and all coaches fired.....jim kelly will be given a position similar to what john elway has with the broncos (executive vice president of football operations) and asst gm doug whaley will be promoted to GM and report to kelly.
This is exactly what I am thinking.  It would be already all over the news if any sale was being discussed.

#18 ALF

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:36 AM

Dome stadium/convention center Niagara Falls, Senenca Casino , lots of tourists sites on Canadian side.  This sounds good to me.

#19 chris heff

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:13 AM

View PostDStebb716, on 29 December 2012 - 08:52 PM, said:

If I was Ralph I would sell the team right now and use all the money on babes and blow until I died. Screw giving millions away in a will.

I think the joke is "Ralph should use most of the money on babes and blow and then just piss away the rest".

#20 RuntheDamnBall

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:13 AM

John Wawrow shot this one down in another thread.





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