BUFFALO, NY-- 2 On Your Side has learned that a major New York City developer is interested in buying the Buffalo Bills.
His name is Howard Milstein. He's a billionaire who has vast real estate holdings in New York.
His family's real estate empire includes 50,000 apartments, office buildings and hotels. He is the grandson of Russian immigrants.
In a YouTube video, Milstein said: "It was my father and grandfather who started the business. We started in the wood flooring business and worked for other builders and then my father said I think I can do the building, I don't have to work for the builders."
A source, who had a lengthy conversation with Milstein just this week, tells our Scott Brown that Milstein is "absolutely interested" in buying the Bills and that if he were successful, he would "definitely" keep the team in Western New York.
Now this would not be Milstein's first attempt to buy an NFL team, he bid on both the Cleveland Browns when they were an expansion team, and the Washington Redskins when they were up for sale in the late 1990s.
At one point Milstein owned the New York Islanders, but has since sold the team.
Milstein is a billionaire and his resume is nearly as rich as he is:
- He has both law and business degrees from Harvard,
- His family's net worth is estimated to be $3.8 billion,
- It's Milstein who controls the family's real estate empire,
- The family also owns Emigrant Savings Bank in New York,
- And Milstein and his wife Abby are major philanthropists giving millions to hospitals, museums and libraries
Milstein is also a major donor to Governor Cuomo, and it was Cuomo who appointed Milstein as the head of the Thruway Authority.
And speaking of Cuomo, our source says that Milstein will be speaking to the governor in the near future about his interest in the Bills.
Our source says Milstein would finance his bid for the Bills totally on his own without any partners, which is something the NFL strongly prefers.
The source says Milstein has been closely following what's been happening with the Bills since the death of Ralph Wilson five weeks ago.
Milstein does have ties to Western New York, since the late 1990s he's owned 140 acres of under-developed land in downtown Niagara Falls. It's not believed that that property would be part of Milstein's bid for the Bills.