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Partial sale of Bills would help with stadium construction cost overruns

There are plenty of reasons for any NFL owner who holds 100 percent of the equity of an NFL team to sell a chunk of it. For Bills owner Terry Pegula, there’s one specific reason others don’t currently have.

Pegula is on the hook for cost overruns at the team’s new stadium. As noted over the weekend by the Buffalo News, the $1.4 billion project could end up costing $2 billion. That $600 million would come from the Bills.

Selling 25 percent of the team would easily raise that amount. With teams now going for more than $6 billion, selling a fourth would generate $1.5 billion.

Of course, it will be difficult for Pegula to get market-level valuation without also giving his new partner a path to control. That’s the unanswered question, for now. Is this simply an effort to claw back the original purchase price of $1.7 billion while still holding 75 percent of the team, or is Pegula laying the foundation to eventually make his exit? Or both?

If it’s the latter, he’ll get more for the chunk of the team he’s looking to sell. If it’s the former, he could be one of the first owners to welcome a private equity fund as a partner, if the NFL changes the rules to allow such investments in the near future.