Try to comprehend how much money $1.4 billion really is

Terry Pegula owns not one, but two Buffalo sports franchises.

“How many sports franchises do I own? That’s right.”

By Nick Veronica

When you hear about the sale price of the Buffalo Bills, it’s easy to forget what all those zeros really mean.

To recap:

Terry and Kim Pegula submitted a winning bid of $1.4 billion. That’s $1,400,000,000. “One billion, four hundred million dollars.”

The Bon Jovi group bid $1.05 billion. That’s $1,050,000,000. “One billion, fifty million dollars.”

It’s hard to even comprehend that kind of money. A thousand millionaires could’ve teamed up and still been outbid!

Here’s trying to put those numbers into perspective:

>>> The Pegulas paid $175 million for the Sabres. That means they outbid the Bon Jovi group by two Buffalo Sabres organizations.

>>> You’d have to work 175 million hours at New York state minimum wage ($8/hour) to make $1.4 billion (before taxes). That’s 7,291,667 days or 19,997 years, not accounting for leap years.

So working at $8/hour, assuming you never got a raise or overtime or holiday pay and also never spent any money or paid any taxes, you would’ve had to work every hour of every day since the Late Stone Age to be able to form a bid that could compete with the Pegulas’ bid.

>>> Since living that long is a little unreasonable to ask, maybe you’d consider pooling your money. If everyone in your group worked eight hours a day for 365 days (again, excluding overtime/holiday/expenses/taxes/etc.), here’s how many people you’d need at different average group pay rates:

  • Working every day for a year at $8/hr: 59,932 people
  • At $12/hr: 39,954 people
  • At $30/hr: 15,982 people
  • At $1,000/hr: 479 people

Maybe instead you just wanted to group together every season ticket holder. If the Bills sold 42,540 season tickets last year, every holder of every seat would have to chip in more than $32,910.

>>> Maybe you’d like to target a wealthier demographic. It’d probably be a conflict of interest for football players to buy a team, but how about every player in the NHL? Using numbers from CapGeek, every player who is currently signed in the NHL will have a combined estimated cap hit of $1,915,607,276 this season. That’s enough to outbid Pegula! You could even negotiate it with the Player’s Union. Everyone gets to keep 25 percent of what he makes this season and gives the other 75 percent to buy the Bills. You’d have $1,436,705,437, about 36 million more than Pegula bid.

>>> Wait, what about winning the lottery? That could work. If you just happened to win all five of the largest Mega Millions jackpots in history, that’d give about $1.5 billion. Score!

Other comparisons

  • The CEOs of Western New York’s top 50 publicly traded companies made $96,582,585 in 2013 — less than 7 percent of the Bills sale price.
  • The Obama campaign raised about $1.072 billion in the 2012 election cycle — enough to outbid Bon Jovi but not the Pegulas.
  • You know the USAA Auto Insurance commercial where the kid says “mine was earned in Djibouti, Africa”? The entire GDP of Djibouti (and 20 other countries) is less than $1.4 billion.
  • Apple’s new ginormous iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 on a two-year contract. With $1.4 billion, you could buy 4,682,274 of them — one for every person in Louisiana, the 25th most populous state.
  • Or, better yet … a regular hot dog at Ted’s ($2.59) plus fries ($1.39) and a drink ($1.49) costs $5.95, including tax. With $1.4 billion, Pegula could’ve bought everyone in the Buffalo-Niagara metropolitan area (1,135,509 people) lunch for 207 days.
  • For even more happiness … $1.4 billion could buy those those 1,135,509 people a large coffee from Tim Hortons ($1.90) every morning for almost two years (649 days).
  • If you just wanted to split up that money between everyone, it’d be $123.29 per person … enough to give every person in the area full online access to the Buffalo News (and a Sunday paper) for more than a year (almost 62 weeks).
  • Forbes has estimated Pegula’s net worth to be $3.3 billion, so this sale would still leave him with more than half of his fortune. Good joke about being broke though.

  • Lastly, to keep $1.4 billion in perspective from the other direction, you’d have to give the government 12,689 times what Pegula spent to erase the national debt. (And, comparing tweets from that account, the national rose more than five times what Pegula spent just on Tuesday.)
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Cournan to call Canisius hockey games, replacing Lull

By Nick Veronica

Nate Lull

Nate Lull

Chris Cournan will take over broadcasting duties for the Canisius College hockey team this season, replacing Nate Lull, who called the team’s games the last four seasons.

The athletic department confirmed the hire to IAGS today.

Cournan is a recent Bowling Green graduate who went to Clarence High School. A sample of his broadcasting his posted below.

Lull left Canisius to take a full-time job as the sports director at WCDO-FM, a radio station in Sidney, N.Y. near his hometown.

“They didn’t want me to leave at all and it was all on good terms,” Lull said. “I found a full-time radio job close to my family and hometown. I am Sports Director and it was a good fit so I decided I had to try it. Leaving Canisius was so hard for me and I am going to miss it so much. The new building and all that — it kills me to think about not being there. But my family is really important and I know I have to give this a try.

“[I] would love to come back if it was ever a little more full-time,” he added.

Lull was well-liked by those close to the program. In addition to his broadcast duties, he was a generous donator to Movember campaigns, which raise money and awareness for prostate cancer and men’s health issues. This past winter, Lull signed up to give a blood stem cell donation after finding out he was a match for a person fighting leukemia, the same disease the hockey team’s Chris Rumble beat before attending Canisius.

Here’s a sample of Cournan’s work (from his YouTube account) and a blog post detailing a little more about him. The Griffs open the season with an exhibition against the University of Toronto on Oct. 5.

(The best part: “I’m Chris Cournan, and you’re not!”)

Canisius hockey opens HarborCenter era vs. Ohio State

By Nick Veronica

CCLogobigCanisius hockey opens the 2014-15 season with two games at the First Niagara Center and ushers in the HarborCenter era against Ohio State on Halloween, according to today’s schedule announcement.

Because HarborCenter may not be completed by the start of the season, Canisius opens with a two-game series against Western Michigan at the First Niagara Center on Oct. 10 and 11, with both games starting at 7:35 p.m.

The Griffs then have two weekends of conference games on the road before the inaugural HarborCenter series against Ohio State — coach Dave Smith’s alma mater — on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Canisius played Ohio State for the first time in school history last season, losing 3-0 and 3-1 in Columbus.

Canisius will not face Niagara at the HarborCenter this year, traveling to Dwyer Arena for games on Jan. 22 and 24. The Griffs face RIT at the HarborCenter on Nov. 14 and 15. Canisius plays both teams only twice this season instead of four times (an option under the new 11-team scheduling format), but with Niagara and RIT being two of the better AHA teams, four fewer games against them may end up helping Canisius in the standings.

Canisius travels to Maine for its final nonconference action, Jan. 2 and 3.

The Atlantic Hockey playoffs begin March 6. The championship weekend at Blue Cross Arena is March 20 and 21.

Here’s a nifty infograph from GoGriffs:

Full schedule:

Oct. 5 Toronto (Exhibition), TBA 6:35 p.m.
Oct. 10 Western Michigan, First Niagara Center 7:35 p.m.
Oct. 11 Western Michigan, First Niagara Center 7:35 p.m.
Oct. 17 Army, West Point, N.Y. 7:05 p.m.
Oct. 18 Army, West Point, N.Y. 7:05 p.m.
Oct. 24 AIC, Springfield, Mass. 7:05 p.m.
Oct. 25 AIC, Springfield, Mass. 7:05 p.m.
Oct. 31 Ohio State, HarborCenter 7:35 p.m.
Nov. 1 Ohio State, HarborCenter 7:35 p.m.
Nov. 7 Sacred Heart, Milford, Conn. 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 8 Sacred Heart, Milford, Conn. 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 14 RIT, HarborCenter 7:35 p.m.
Nov. 15 RIT, HarborCenter 7:35 p.m.
Nov. 21 Mercyhurst, Erie, Pa. 7:05 p.m.
Nov. 22 Mercyhurst, HarborCenter 7:35 p.m.
Nov. 28 Air Force, HarborCenter 2:05 p.m.
Nov. 29 Air Force, HarborCenter 7:35 p.m.
Dec. 5 AIC, HarborCenter 7:35 p.m.
Dec. 6 AIC, HarborCenter 7:35 p.m.
Jan. 2 Maine, Maine 7:05 p.m.
Jan. 3 Maine, Maine 7:05 p.m.
Jan. 9 Holy Cross, HarborCenter 11:05 a.m.
Jan. 10 Holy Cross, HarborCenter 7:35 p.m.
Jan. 16 Bentley, HarborCenter 7:35 p.m.
Jan. 17 Bentley, HarborCenter 7:35 p.m.
Jan. 22 Niagara, Lewiston, N.Y. 7:05 p.m.
Jan. 24 Niagara, Lewiston, N.Y. 7:05 p.m.
Feb. 6 Robert Morris, Pittsburgh, Pa. 7:05 p.m.
Feb. 7 Robert Morris, Pittsburgh, Pa. 7:05 p.m.
Feb. 13 Army, HarborCenter 7:35 p.m.
Feb. 14 Army, HarborCenter 7:35 p.m.
Feb. 20 Mercyhurst, Erie, Pa. 7:05 p.m.
Feb. 21 Mercyhurst, HarborCenter 7:35 p.m.
Feb. 27 Air Force, USAF Academy, Colo. 9:05 p.m.
Feb. 28 Air Force, USAF Academy, Colo. TBA

Cory Conacher signs with New York Islanders

By Nick Veronica

After not receiving a qualifying offer from the Buffalo Sabres, Cory Conacher signed a one-year contract with the New York Islanders Tuesday on the first day of free agency.

The contract is a one-way deal, meaning Conacher will make his full salary even if he is sent to the minors.

NHL minimum salary for 2014-15, per the collective bargaining agreement, is $550,000.

Conacher, Canisius College’s all-time scoring leader, had three goals and three assists in 19 games with the Sabres after being acquired in March.

Conacher has 18 goals in his two-year career, tied for 2,560th in NHL history.

Cory Conacher picked up by Buffalo Sabres

By Nick Veronica @NickVeroinca

conacherheadshotThe Buffalo Sabres have picked up Canisius grad Cory Conacher, who was waived Tuesday by the Ottawa Senators.

Conacher, a small, hard-working winger, has 20 points in 60 games this season but only four goals, which may have been part of the reason Ottawa let him go. His ice time has declined to 12:18 per game.

Sabres general manager Tim Murray came from Ottawa, so he has first-hand knowledge of what Conacher, 24, can or cannot bring to the club. The Sabres were first in line on the waiver claim list because they are last in the standings.

While Conacher’s scoring is down from last season (he had 11 goals, 18 assists in 47 games last year), he possession numbers are better.

His Corsi For Percentage (or CF%, the percentage of shots taken while he’s on the ice in 5-on-5 situations that are directed at the opponent’s net) is up to 53.2 percent this season, much better than his 46.7 percentage last season. Additionally, Conacher’s PDO (team’s shooting percentage plus save percentage at 5-on-5 while he’s on the ice; league average is theoretically 100.0) stands at 102.1, up from 95.6 a year ago.

The Sabres are Conacher’s third team in two NHL seasons, but the Burlington, Ontario native has to be excited to play for a near-hometown team, even if Ottawa was in the playoff hunt.

Conacher is a on a two-way contract and becomes a restricted free agent after this season. He was the AHL MVP and Rookie of the Year in 2011-12.

Conacher starred collegiately for Canisius College — which will play its home games at the Sabres’ HarborCenter beginning next season — and owned nearly every program when he left.

Pretty much anything else you could want to know about Conacher’s NHL career can be found here.