WASHINGTON – Billionaire developer Donald Trump reiterated his interest in buying the Buffalo Bills on Monday, saying that he doesn’t think his years-ago involvement in a rival football league or his history of operating casinos would stand in his way.
“We are going to put in a bid,” Trump said in response to questions after a luncheon speech at the National Press Club. “I don’t know what’s going to happen in Buffalo. If the price isn’t the right price, then I won’t get it, and I won’t be ashamed of it … But if I get it, I think I’ll probably do a good job.”
Trump said he didn’t know how many bidders will try to buy the team, which is on the market after the recent death of their founder and owner, Ralph C. Wilson Jr.
“There will probably be at least a few,” he said.
Trump – who worked with Erie County Republican Chairman Nicholas A. Langworthy and political consultant Michael Caputo as he considered a bid for New York governor – said he has “a great relationship” with people in Buffalo.
And he also said his ownership of the USFL’s New Jersey Generals in the early 1980s should not be an impediment to him owning an NFL team now.
Only six or seven NFL team owners remain from that era, when Trump bought the Generals as the USFL was failing, Trump said. Those that remain know, then, that Trump has shown he can run a sports franchise, he said.
“I think they gained a lot of respect for me,” he said. “I think they respect what I did.”
As for the Trump Organization’s past involvement with casinos, Trump noted that he has sold his gaming interests – and would not enter any new gambling ventures if he were an NFL team owner.