BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Terry Pegula is 63-years-old and is worth $3.3 billion. He took a loan from his parents in 1983 and turned it into a multi-billion dollar fracking company.
Now he’s the king of Buffalo sports.
When he bought the Buffalo Sabres in 2011, Terry Pegula won over fans with this line: “If I want to make some money, I’ll go drill a gas well. I don’t need to make it in the hockey business.”
The funny thing is, Pegula is now in the football business after selling a gas well. He brought home $1.75 billion by selling oil fields just as the Buffalo Bills bidding process was heating up.
And that wasn’t even his biggest deal.
Pegula really cashed in when Royal Dutch Shell paid $4.7 billion in 2010 for most of his company, East Resources. That allowed Pegula to buy the Buffalo Sabres in early 2011.
But his investment in Western New York didn’t stop there.
After spending $189 million to ensure the Sabres stay in Buffalo, he and his wife Kim donated $12 million to her alma mater Houghton College in Allegany County to build a new sports complex.
Then Pegula invested in hockey heaven – spending $172 million for the construction of the HarborCenter in downtown Buffalo, which will include ice rinks, a hotel, restaurants and retail.
Finally, the big ticket item – an estimated $1.4 billion for Buffalo’s beloved Bills.
That is $1,773,000,000 invested in Western New York.
The Sabres’ “First Family” is now the “First Family” of the Bills. Terry’s wife Kim will reportedly be involved in running the team. They have three children – Jessie, Matthew and Kelly, whose Twitter posts were some of the first hints her dad would be named owner.
Kelly sent a tweet Monday night of just exclamation points. On Tuesday, she sent two more, which said, “I started crying when I found out last night. My dad goes, “You’re crying and I’m broke!” Thanks to everyone for the support… means a lot to my whole family. So proud of my dad.”
Terry has two children, Laura and Mike, from his first marriage. Back in 2011, Mike made a remark about his father that really rings true today: “My dad, he started with absolutely nothing. He did a lot with a little. He’s just a fighter. He never gives up. Just keep watching – we’re going to go places.”
Terry Pegula was born and raised in Pennsylvania, but he raised his children to be Buffalo sports fans. His two older children went to school in Orchard Park. The family now lives in Boca Raton, Florida.