MLS&E Chairman Eyes NFL’s Bills

The NFL’s Buffalo Bills are on the sales block, and a group including Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment chairman Larry Tanenbaum has submitted a nondisclosure agreement allowing it to proceed in the bidding process.

The involvement of Tanenbaum is interesting because his MLS&E owns the NHL’s Maple Leafs and NBA’s Raptors as well as their home arena, . He also has financial interests in other venues including . It may be even more interesting because MLS&E is also the home of President/CEO Tim Leiweke, the former AEG chief exec whose move to Toronto was announced by Tanenbaum in April 2013.

Leiweke would likely provide a leg up to the buyers’ group, given his years of work trying to bring the NFL to Los Angeles – an effort that may now be on the rocks. It’s not clear at press time whether AEG is one of 10 reported buyers’ groups to submit the nondisclosure papers required to join the bidding, but Leiweke’s presence at MLS&E in a potential competing bid for an NFL team will surely raise eyebrows in L.A.

Tanenbaum’s group, which includes the Rogers family of Toronto telecom fame as well as Jon Bon Jovi, is on the list of prospective buyers who submitted the paperwork to Morgan Stanley, the banking firm overseeing the Bills sale.

The team went on the market after the death of Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson in March.

Should the Tanenbaum group successfully navigate the bidding process and prevail, it’s not clear if that means they would try to move the team to Toronto – at least not immediately.

The team is essentially locked into playing at  through the 2019 season because of a strict nonrelocation clause included in a 10-year lease agreement reached with the state and county in December 2012.