ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – He may sell-out stadiums, but Bon Jovi may not get a standing ovation from Buffalo Bills fans.
His reported interest in purchasing the team has a pro-Buffalo group calling for a Bon Jovi boycott. While it may be very unlikely that the Bills will be moved out of Buffalo, some fans say they aren’t taking any chances.
“I never really liked Bon Jovi in the first place. Now I don’t like him even more,” said Charles Pellien, one of the co-founders of 12th Man Thunder.
The goal of 12th Man Thunder is to get Bon Jovi’s music out of Western New York’s bars and restaurants by declaring them a “Bon Jovi-Free Zone.”
“Ban Bon Jovi songs, any band that plays in the bar, ban Bon Jovi from their playlist, and just ban Bon Jovi,” said 12th Man Thunder co-founder Chuck Sonntag.
They want to stop Bon Jovi from buying the team and moving it to Toronto. They’ve also started a petition online calling on all Bills fans to sign it.
“The fans come with the franchise and we can bring value to the team and we can take value away,” said Pellien.
By signing the petition, the group says Bills fans will refuse to attend games if the team moves.
“People in Toronto are counting on our money to go up there and fill their seats and it’s a losing proposition for Bon Jovi because we’re not going to be there,” said Pellien.
Danny’s Buffalo Cuisine has agreed to the Bon Jovi ban, saying it would hurt the restaurant if the team moves.
“A big impact. There’s nothing going on, on the weekends unless football is going on,” said Mark Ebeling, who owns the restaurant.
Hotel Bravo lead singer Michael Culmo says they’re on board, too. They’ll refuse to play the singer’s songs. He’s hoping Bon Jovi himself will hear about the ban.
“It didn’t take long when Twitter announced that he was dead that he posted a picture of him in front of his Christmas tree saying I’m not dead or whatever. Hopefully the same type of thing will happen with this and he’ll back off,” said Culmo.
But it needs to be said, with the current lease, it will be virtually impossible to move the team until at least 2019. Still, these fans say they’re not taking any chances.
“They say this team from Canada has enough money to wait out all those lame duck seasons so if we can make it more difficult for them, we’ll do it,” said Pellien.
So far, the group has enlisted around 50 restaurants and bands to declare a Bon Jovi Free Zone. The petition can be found on 12thmanthunder.com