Terrence Pegula: Big Buffalo Spender
by Kim Persky | published Sep. 19th, 2014
Western New Yorkers let out a sigh of relief knowing the Buffalo Bills are staying right where they belong. The NFL team was in need of a new owner after the original owner and founder Ralph Wilson passed away last March. Wilson was the oldest owner in the NFL at the age of 95. According to ESPN, Wilson had been the establisher and the exclusive owner of the Buffalo Bills since 1960. In 1959, the value of the team was $25,000 compared to $870 million in August 2013.
Terrence Pegula beat out the bidding competition for the relatively small price of $1.4 billion. As CBS Sports states, the Pegula family far outmatched their competition for the team. It only made sense that the team went to him, as Pegula is already the owner of the only NHL team in town, the Buffalo Sabres. Ralph Wilson’s family was most at ease with choosing Pegula as the purchaser; the huge bonus of being able to keep the Bills in Buffalo is a definite crowd-pleaser.
On the Forbes list of “The World’s Billonaires,” Terrence Pegula ranks 373 out of 1,645. After graduating from Penn State, Pegula made a fortune with his fracking company, East Resources. Since the end of his career in oil, Pegula has been focusing his attention and money on acquiring teams and donating money to build up his alma mater’s hockey program.
If you look at tweets with a #pegula, you can read numerous accounts of fans, also known as the “Bills Mafia”, expressing their love and gratitude that the Bills are here to stay. News of local ownership was an extra morale boost right before last Sunday’s home opener and proud victory against the Miami Dolphins.