Initial bids for the Buffalo Bills are still being accepted for an indefinite period of time, while at least two early bidders have moved on to the next round in the sale of the franchise.
WGRZ's Adam Benigni reported on Thursday evening, citing three sources, that the bank handling the sale of the team, Morgan Stanley, has extended the July 29 deadline for interested parties to submit initial, non-binding bids on the Bills. The bank is doing so in an effort to increase the number of bids they have; fewer than expected came in on Tuesday, with multiple reports claiming that the final tally was three.
Two of those three initial bidders, it has been confirmed, have already been informed that they've been selected for the next step in the sale process: Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim (as first reported by Tim Graham), and polarizing real estate mogul Donald Trump (which John Wawrow had first). There has not yet been confirmation that a Jon Bon Jovi-led Toronto group has moved on in the process, though Graham is hearing that everyone that submitted initial bids has moved on.
The deadline extension affords the bank an opportunity to collect more bids. The name to keep an eye on now is Tom Golisano, the former Sabres owner that surprised when he didn't submit an initial bid earlier this week. Wawrow's report indicates that the July 29 deadline was a "soft" one, meaning that bids can still be submitted and reviewed, but only until a prospective owner is identified.
Per Wawrow, those advancing will next meet with Morgan Stanley and Ralph Wilson's estate to review more finances; they're also likely to be addressed by Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon. That will happen in the coming weeks, followed by an unsealed, formal bidding process.