Toronto's dreams of an NFL franchise may no longer be livin' on a prayer.
Multiple reports have linked rock star Jon Bon Jovi with Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment in a bid to potentially bring the Buffalo Bills to Toronto once the Bills' 95-year-old owner Ralph Wilson passes away.
Reports surfaced on CBS Sports' web site Sunday that Bon Jovi was renewing his interest in becoming an NFL owner and cited his close ties with MLSE president and CEO Tim Leiweke as a natural fit for a partnership.
MLSE is co-owned by Bell and Rogers Communications, the latter already having close ties to the Wilson family. Rogers has partnered with the Bills, having held a regular season home game at the Rogers Centre every year dating back to 2008.
National Post columnist and TSN's “The Reporters” regular Bruce Arthur confirmed the partnership via Twitter on Sunday night.
“For the record, sources confirm Jon Bon Jovi is the frontman for a planned NFL in Toronto bid, with Larry [Tanenbaum], pushed by MLSE.”
Bon Jovi has previously expressed interest in owning a share of the Atlanta Falcons in 2011. Leiweke, too, has a history of NFL ownership ambition, having pursued an NFL franchise for Los Angeles while president and CEO of L.A.-based Anschutz Entertainment Group.
Leiweke stated on October 29, when detailing some of MLSE's initiatives, that the chances of Toronto getting an NFL franchise in the next decade were “pretty good.”
On Monday, CFL spokesperson Matt Maychak told TSN, "We really have no comment. We remain focused on building our league and today we are celebrating a new champion."