Before the man who currently is trying to win a second term as president decided to pursue a first term as president, he pursued purchasing the Buffalo Bills. And the effort to pursue purchasing the Bills entailed boxing out other potential buyers.
For Donald Trump’s effort to buy the Bills, one of the biggest competitors became a group that included Jon Bon Jovi.
Bon Jovi reflects on the experience in a new GQ article. Among other things, Bon Jovi provides a sound bite that is resonating through the region: “I will never go back to Buffalo, New York.”
The comments came during a pre-pandemic interview, and it includes Bon Jovi reflecting on his effort to buy the Bills, including the efforts of Trump to hire Republican operative Michael Caputo to launch a grassroots effort to trash Bon Jovi’s group by selling the idea that they’d move the team to Toronto. (Trump also inflated his net worth to $4.26 billion to boost the bid, as Trump’s former attorney testified in a Congressional hearing last year.)
Bon Jovi’s group tried to push back, but ultimately they couldn’t compete with eventual purchaser Terry Pegula.
“We showed up with a billion three, sitting there with a [check],” Bon Jovi said. “And we could have easily bought it at any price. We didn’t get to get back in the room. [Pegula] said, ‘What do I have to do to not leave this table without owning the team?’”
Bon Jovi still holds a grudge over the issue, misguided as it may be.
“I won’t ever go back to the city of Buffalo,” Bon Jovi said. “You will never see my face in Buffalo ever. I have knocked it off the map.”
We’ll assume that’s a joke, an exaggeration. The people of Buffalo had nothing to do with whatever was done to let Pegula buy the team for $1.4 billion.
In the six years since the failed effort to buy the Bills, however, Bon Jovi has honored his word. His group last played a concert in the area (Darien, roughly 30 miles from Buffalo) in 2013. The band hasn’t returned to the vicinity since then, bypassing Buffalo/Darien/Western New York on both North American legs of the 2017-19 This House Is Not For Sale tour.
But the band did play in Toronto. Twice.