Terry and Kim currently reside in Boca Raton, FL, and have five children: Michael, Laura, Jessica, Kelly and Matthew. The Pegulas younger daughters, Jessica and Kelly, were both born in Buffalo.
Realizing a long-time dream, Terry and his wife Kim Pegula became owners of the Buffalo Bills franchise on Friday, October 10, 2014. The Pegulas are now the second owners in the team’s 55-year history.
In addition to owning the Buffalo Bills, Terry and Kim Pegula own three other franchises in Western New York – the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League and the Buffalo Bandits of the National Lacrosse League. All three entities were purchased in 2011.
Terry is an avid sports fan and his connections to Western New York region run deep. He lived in Buffalo during the Bills’ championship years in the 1990s. He also held season tickets for the Buffalo Sabres from 1980 through 1998.
Upon being approved by NFL owners to purchase the franchise, Terry was asked if owning the Bills was the realization of a dream and he replied, “Yes it is. ... If you asked me 10 years ago if I was going to own the Sabres and the Bills, I would have called you a liar.”
BECOMING A BUSINESSMAN
Born in 1951 and raised in Carbondale, Pa., he attended high school at Scranton Preparatory School. Pegula entered Penn State University as a Math major, but in order to stay in school he entered the Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering program through a scholarship. He went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1973, and landed his first job with Getty Oil Co. in Victoria, Texas. He later joined Felmont Oil Co., a decision that first brought him to Olean, N.Y., in 1975.
In 1983, he borrowed $7,500 from family and friends to found East Resources Inc., an independent oil and gas exploration and production company operating in the Appalachian Basin. Over the next 27 years, he built it into one of the largest privately held companies in the United States. In July of 2010, Royal Dutch Shell purchased the assets of East Resources Inc. for $4.7 billion (US).
A NEW ERA OF SABRES HOCKEY
On February 22, 2011, Pegula became the fourth owner in Buffalo Sabres franchise history. Pegula’s purchase not only reenergized the fan base, but the players as well. With Pegula at the helm, the Sabres went on a 16-4-4 run over the final 24 games of the season to earn the seventh spot in the NHL Eastern Conference playoffs.
The momentum of the new era would stretch well into the offseason as the home of the Sabres – renamed First Niagara Center in August 2011 – began a multimillion dollar facelift. The renovations, which were completed in time for the 2011-12 season, included a new state-of-the-art locker room with updated training and rehabilitation areas, a player lounge and coaches offices. Along with the locker room transformation, First Niagara Center underwent several other upgrades with a focus on providing the best possible game-day experience for Sabres fans. This commitment to providing a first-rate environment for players and fans quickly earned Buffalo the label of ‘Hockey Heaven.’
In 2012, Terry and Kim looked to make an even bigger impact on the City of Buffalo. On August 29, 2012, it was announced that the city had selected the Pegulas and their development team to develop and construct HARBORCENTER, a $172 million multipurpose facility that will sit directly across from First Niagara Center , the home of the Buffalo Sabres, in the city’s Canalside District. HARBORCENTER will be anchored by two new NHL-size ice rinks that will be used year-round by a variety of Buffalo-area hockey teams and leagues.
Also in the facility will be a 200-room, full-service Marriott hotel, (716), an upscale, hockey-themed sports bar and restaurant, a one-of-a-kind Tim Hortons location that pays homage to the former Sabres player, as well as additional retail space and a parking structure.
HARBORCENTER is expected to draw more than 500,000 people to downtown Buffalo annually and, coupled with First Niagara Center, will provide a premier destination for hockey fans, right in the heart of ‘Hockey Heaven.’
COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION
In 2011, Kim and Terry Pegula pledged $12 million for the construction of a new athletic center on the campus of Houghton College, the alma mater of Kim Pegula. The second-largest gift in school history allowed Houghton to transition to NCAA Division III athletics.
The Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex formally opened on October 4, 2014. The project included the construction of both a new baseball and softball stadium, resurfacing of Burke Field (a multi-sport competition field), and the construction of an 115,000-square-foot fieldhouse that will enable the college and region to host year-round athletic competitions. The fieldhouse features an eight lane, 200-meter regulation size track, five tennis courts, cardio fitness center, weight lifting room, MVP conference room, commercial kitchen and concessions, locker-room facilities, and office space. The facility provides dedicated practice space for outdoor sports over the winter and during inclement weather and also has the ability to host major concerts and events with a maximum capacity of more than 6,000 people.
On September 17, 2010, Terry and Kim donated $88 million to Penn State University -- the largest private gift in the history of the school -- to fund a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose arena and a world-class practice facility, and to help establish an NCAA Division I men's hockey program. In 2012, the Pegulas announced they would increase their donation to the Nittany Lion hockey program to $102 million that allowed for the endowment of student athlete scholarships.
Thanks to their generosity, Penn State has been able to add both men’s and women’s varsity hockey teams, with both teams beginning play in 2012-13. Pegula Ice Arena, which opened in 2013 and enjoyed a sold-out 2013-14 season, includes two ice sheets and serves as the only major ice facility within an 80-mile radius of State College. In addition to providing hockey and figure skating opportunities for the entire Central Pennsylvania region, it is also used for a broad range of campus and community activities.
In the spring of 2014, together, the Pegulas expanded their business interests by forming Pegula Sports & Entertainment, a multifaceted parent company of 12 separate companies located in Buffalo, Nashville, TN, Atlanta and Boca Raton, FL. In addition to the Sabres, Amerks, Bandits and HARBORCENTER, the diverse portfolio of sports and entertainment properties includes: Black River Entertainment and Publishing, a country music label and songwriting studio based in Nashville and IMPACT Sports Performance, a high-performance training facility for professional and amateur athletes with a location in Boca Raton, Fla. and a future location at HARBORCENTER in Buffalo.
Terry and Kim currently reside in Boca Raton, FL, and have five children: Michael (36), Laura (32), Jessica (20), Kelly (18) and Matthew (15). The Pegulas younger daughters, Jessica and Kelly, were both born in Buffalo.