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.)

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.

Sabres and Canisius ready to make partnership official

After two years of on-and-off discussions, the Buffalo Sabres and Canisius College are finally ready to announce a partnership that will give the Canisius hockey team a new home rink.

sabres canish

Canisius released details today for a Tuesday morning press conference at the First Niagara Center. The Griffs are expected to play their home games across the street at the HarborCenter when the rink opens in 2014.

UPDATE: As expected, it was made official at the press conference that Canisius will play games at the HarborCenter. The Griffs will have their own 1,300-square foot, state-of-the-art locker room and a separate athletic training area.

The Sabres and Canisius have been considering a partnership since at least the summer of 2011, when the sides discussed the possibility of building a two-rink complex on the Canisius campus that would double as a Sabres practice facility.

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What is a Terry Pegula?


The Buffalo Sabres hosted a season-ending press conference at the First Niagara Center Monday, with team president Ted Black and still-general manager Darcy Regier holding court.

Sabres owner Terry Pegula again bypassed an opportunity to speak to media, as has been par for his tenure in Buffalo. As the press conference turned from discussion to circus, the focus turned to Pegula’s presence (or lack thereof) as the head of the franchise.

Black said Pegula has spoken to media when appropriate, which is highly debatable, and went on to say that Pegula doesn’t need to comment on day-to-day activity when he has people employed to do that for him. Black said Pegula hired him to run the business operations, so he will discuss those, and Pegula hired Regier to run the hockey operations, so Regier will talk about hockey.

To an extent, that makes sense. If Terry Pegula doesn’t want to talk to media, he doesn’t have to. It’s his team. Continue reading