John Vrooman, a Vanderbilt professor who specializes in sports economics, said feasibility studies are standard practice among prospective ownership groups and there should be no immediate cause for alarm. He said such studies evaluate expected cash flows and best- and worst-case risk factors based on location.
The Toronto group is represented by Goldman Sachs, and is one of at least 10 groups to have submitted a nondisclosure agreement form to Morgan Stanley, the banking firm overseeing the Bills sale on behalf of Wilson’s estate.
Among those also listed as returning their forms are Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula and New York City real estate mogul Donald Trump.
The next step comes Tuesday.
That’s when prospective bidders must submit to Morgan Stanley what’s called “a first letter of indication,” which includes their initial and non-binding bid to purchase the team, said a person familiar with the sale process. The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the sale process is private.
The person said the firm will review the bids and determine which prospective groups will be eligible to proceed to the next stage of bidding.
The list of remaining groups allowed to move forward is anticipated to be identified by the end of next week, the person said. Those groups will then be granted further access to the Bills financial date to better determine their bid.
It’s possible that a prospective owner could be identified by as early as late August, and be presented to NFL owners for approval during league meetings in early October.