The NFL owners in voting unanimously in favor of Kim and Terry Pegula as new owners of the Buffalo Bills franchise made an important statement Wednesday. Obviously the Pegulas' bid for the franchise indicated a strong commitment, but it was their dedication to something much bigger that carried significant weight.
NFL Owners gathered in New York City and approved the sale of the Bills to the Pegula family on October 8, 2014.
The vote to ratify the Pegulas as the new owners of the Bills happened very quickly Wednesday morning. According to Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon it took all of 15 seconds. A critical factor was NFL ownership was convinced the Pegulas were devoted to the region that now surrounds their two major sports franchises.
"It's about their commitment and what they've shown and what they've done as owners of the Sabres and their commitment to the region and the community," said Brandon. "That means a lot in that room."
"Well it was a very strong consensus by the owners," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "It was 32-0 so you don't get that kind of support unless you really present yourself in a very positive fashion. I think this was a great outcome for Western New York and Bills fans and the NFL."
Owners who commented on the Bills impending new ownership quickly pointed to the Pegulas' loyalty to Buffalo and the surrounding area.
"They have a great reputation," said New York Giants President and CEO John Mara. "They're committed to Western New York, and I think they're going to be great owners in the league."
"First of all I appreciate their commitment to Buffalo," said Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. "I'm really proud for (Western) New York. They deserve that quality of commitment and from all appearances have got a great new owner."
The Pegulas' development of the Harbor Center in downtown Buffalo compellingly demonstrated to NFL owners how their plans are more holistic than just improving the quality of their hockey club or their new football team.
"I know how committed they are to the Buffalo region and doing everything they can to make that franchise first class and treat the community the same way that Mr. Wilson did for 54 years," said New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. "We know we're going to be facing a real competitive franchise every year, but that's good for everyone in the NFL and I think they also want to make the people proud there with the kind of support and love they have for the region."
"It's a significant step to have complete unanimous approval from ownership," said Brandon. "It's a wonderful day for the Pegula family and it's even a better day for Buffalo."