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Sen. Charles Schumer said Monday he his “still very optimistic” that the Buffalo Bills will stay in Western New York and said he thinks a local bidder would have a greater commitment to keeping the team in town.

“All things being equal, I would prefer bidders from Western New York, because they’re committed to the area,” Schumer said during a news conference in Williamsville. “But whoever bids, we’ve got to make sure it’s an iron-clad commitment.”

Asked his opinion of a letter written by rocker Jon Bon Jovi explaining Bon Jovi’s interest in buying the team, Schumer said he would not comment on any specific bidder.

“But I want to say two things. First, good words are nice, but they are not sufficient,” the senator said. “We need an iron-clad commitment for whoever buys the team to keep the Bills in Buffalo.”

Whoever gets the bid, Schumer said, should be required to make that strong commitment.

Schumer said he has been talking to prospective buyers, the National Football League and others involved in the team sale.

“I’m still very optimistic that we can keep the Bills in Buffalo,” he said. “Not for seven years. Not for 10 years, but for generations, and the league understands the importance, I think, of keeping them in Buffalo.”

email: djgee@buffnews.com