Buffalonians should celebrate the day a young Terry Pegula first stepped foot in Western New York because it led to today and ownership of both the Bills and Sabres. The NFL owners unanimously approved the Pegula’s this morning as the new owners of the Buffalo Bills at a reported sale price of 1.4 billion dollars. It was a purchase made from the heart, not the mind.

The Pegula’s could never earn back the purchase price for the Bills in their lifetime, unless they turned around in ten years and sold the team, which is very unlikely. What Pegula is doing in this town with the money he has earned in the oil and gas business has changed the face of Buffalo sports forever.

Since 1989 Bills fans have always had in the back of their minds that the team could move. Ralph Wilson that year said in an interview with me that unless he got a new stadium he would move the Bills. Of course it was a negotiation move because Wilson was frustrated with the lack of upkeep by Erie County at the time and it worked. Wilson and Erie County became better partners in maintaining the stadium and over the next twenty-five years made great improvements.

Today Terry and Kim Pegula face a future that will undoubtedly include a new stadium. It will probably be built downtown near the First Niagara Center and my guess is they will control the construction because of their own sizable investment. We have never seen their like in this town before.

The Knox’s, Paul Snyder, Bob Rich, John Rigas, Tom Golisano and Ralph Wilson all made significant financial commitments to Buffalo professional sports over the years. This is not a knock on the names just mentioned, but all of their investments combined fall far short of what the Pegula’s have already spent. It is mind boggling when you consider it has happened in our own backyard.

Of course should both the Bills and Sabres continue to miss the playoffs fans will quickly turn their cheers to jeers, thus the nature of sports. But, always remember this day, because for once, the planets were all lined in the right order.

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