DETROIT - Buffalo Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. has been hospitalized and is listed in good condition, the team announced Thursday.
Wilson, 93, was last seen at a public event earlier this month in ceremonies at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. He had not been planning to attend the Bills' exhibition finale Thursday night in Detroit, near his suburban home of Grosse Point Shores, Mich.
Wilson has been in regular contact with his top executives, as is his custom, this week. He generally speaks daily with General Manager Buddy Nix and Chief Executive Officer Russ Brandon. Scott Berchtold, Bills senior vice president of communications, said the team had no further comment on Wilson's condition.
Wilson was hospitalized in May 2011 after taking a fall in his home and breaking his hip. He has been bothered by balance issues the past several years. He recovered from that accident but attended only one Bills game last season, an October home game against the New York Jets, due to his difficulty in getting around.
The appearance in Canton saw Wilson in good spirits, as the football shrine unveiled a new 10,000-square-foot center built in order to preserve more than 20 million documents and three million photographic images. Wilson donated $2.5 million to fund the building of the facility.
Wilson's hospitalization comes with the Bills in the midst of negotiations on a new lease with New York State and Erie County. The team's current lease expires on July 31. The Bills are asking the state and county to fund a large portion of more than $200 million in renovations the team is seeking to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park.
Wilson has maintained his commitment to keeping the team in Western New York many times over the years. Nevertheless, the team's long-term future in the region remains a concern because the team eventually will be sold after Wilson dies.
The founder of the Bills and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Wilson and Tennessee's Bud Adams are the two longest-tenured owners in the NFL, having both overseen their teams since 1960.