BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – News 4 reached out to the man a Buffalo Bills fan group says is part of a group that wants to move the team to Toronto.
Roger Rai, a Rogers Communication consultant, denies being part of an ownership group. He says the person who wrote announcements saying he is part of the group that is “attempting to acquire and move the Buffalo Bills to Toronto” took liberties and it was a misunderstanding.
“That was a mistake on my behalf and a coworker took some liberties in terms of padding my bio for a transaction we were working on and we made efforts to try and resurrect or clean it up, but I absolutely have zero involvement in the purchase of the Bills in any way or form,” Rai said.
Earlier on Thursday, the Associated Press reported the Buffalo Fan Alliance, which is made up of fans, former Bills player and business leaders, had uncovered several documents that “would seem to cast further doubt on the credibility” of the Toronto group’s assurances to keep the Bills in Buffalo.
The documents include an announcement issued in July by Marketwird, a Toronto-based press release distribution company, and in a biography on Rai published in January announcing a special meeting to approve Primary Petroleum’s merger with Keek Inc.
In the biography, Rai is listed as someone who “assists in sports ownership affairs of Rogers Communications and was responsible for the acquisition of the Toronto Blue Jays,” which the company purchased in 2000.
“But the reality is the information was out there in a number of outlets along with a public filing that was in all likelihood vetted and reviewed before it was submitted,” said Buffalo Fan Alliance Co-Director Matt Sabuda. “We’ve always maintained that the Toronto group has the steepest hill to climb when it comes to convincing the Western New York community that they are committed, and today, I think that hill just got steeper.”
Rai might not be technically part of a possible ownership group, but even Bloomberg lists him as the owner and controlling shareholder of Rogers Communications, a company whose Deputy Chairman Ed Rogers is bidding for the Bills.
Rocker Jon Bon Jovi is a part of the Toronto group. Bills fans are so angry at the musician over his alleged designs to move the team to Canada that they have called on businesses and radio stations to boycott his music.
Bon Jovi attempted to assure fans earlier this month in a letter that he would not move the team, but the plan backfired. The Buffalo Fan Alliance noted that nowhere in the letter “does he write or directly state or legally commit his group to ‘not moving the Bills from Buffalo.'”
The group that Bon Jovi is a part of has moved on to the final round of bidding, according to The Toronto Sun.