Buffalo Bills fans push for Bon Jovi boycott to keep team out of Canada

Jon Bon Jovi, pictured in March 2014. Getty Images

TORONTO — A group of football fans in Buffalo, New York has organized a boycott of rock group Bon Jovi in an effort to keep the NFL’s Bills in the city.

Singer Jon Bon Jovi is rumoured to be considering a bid for the Buffalo Bills in partnership with Toronto’s Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

Many fans in Buffalo believe the team would be moved north.

A group known as 12th Man Thunder is asking bars, restaurants, bands and DJs to join the boycott online.

“Help us make ALL of [Western New York] a Bon Jovi FREE Zone,” reads the Facebook page.
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“Ban Bon Jovi at your business and show your support for our Buffalo Bills!”

Those who sign up receive a pair of “Bon Jovi Free Zone” posters.

Supporters must promise not to play Bon Jovi songs — and the lead singer “is banned from your location.”

As of Tuesday night, 28 businesses had signed up, including West Seneca concert venue Rock N’ Roll Heaven.

“This is a guy who is openly saying I’m going to come to your city, I’m going to take your football team which is our identity and our source of civic pride,” 12th Man Thunder co-founder Charles Pellien told WKBW.

“That team leaves, it’ll throw our city into a psychological and economic depression. This guy wants to harm our city, so this is our way to fight back.”

Pellien and friends Paul Roorda and Charles Sonntag III have collected more than 3,500 names on an online petition to keep the Bills in Buffalo.

“We will not attend games involving this team in Canada or any other location,” it reads.

Last November, Bon Jovi’s publicist Ken Sunshine dismissed reports that the rocker wanted to buy the team as “preposterous” — but this was before the death in March of the team’s longtime owner Ralph Wilson.

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At the NFL owners meeting in Atlanta this week, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Bon Jovi would be an “outstanding” bidder for the Bills.

“He’s very committed. He’s very genuine,” Jones told reporters. “You talk about individuals and talk about their qualification — there hasn’t been anybody more qualified to be involved in … ownership in the NFL, than Jon Bon Jovi.”

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