Did Donald Trump ever own an NFL team?

Donald Trump has made several attempts to purchase an NFL team - did he ultimately succeed?

Did Donald Trump ever own an NFL team?

Donald Trump (Image via The Wrap)

The successful businessman and former POTUS, Donald Trump, has been involved in bitter-sweet relations with American Football for decades, both at collegiate and professional levels. Although he was unsuccessful in purchasing an NFL team, his efforts and strained relationship with the league have brought him extra fame.


In the 1980s, Trump attempted to become the owner of an NFL team through various events. Despite his unsuccessful attempts, numerous news articles have portrayed the former US President as a rival of the NFL. One 2018 article from Business Leader called Trump’s relationship with the league “The Pigskin War.

Trump’s interest in owning an NFL team was evident when he declared his intention to purchase the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League for $9 million in the ’80s. He even filed a lawsuit against the NFL to force a merger, but the USFL won in a financial victory, and no merger took place.

Later in the years during his presidency, Trump called for a boycott of the NFL over the national anthem kneeling protest. This reignited his feud with the NFL, which the media covered extensively. As a president, Trump was invited to many high-profile college football events.


Donald Trump’s pursuit of owning an NFL team, despite facing several setbacks, is reminiscent of his presidential campaigns. As a billionaire, Trump still commands media attention and the ability to generate headlines, much like he did thirty years ago.

Donald Trump’s attempted purchase of an NFL team

Even today, Trump continues to be a topic of interest when it comes to owning an NFL team, as was the case when he showed interest in purchasing the Dallas Cowboys in 1984. However, he eventually declined, citing uncertainty about the team’s profitability after investing such a significant amount.

Donald Trump
(Image via USA Today)

In 1988, Trump made a bid to purchase the New England Patriots when the team’s then-owner, Billy Sullivan, was experiencing financial difficulties. However, he pulled out of the deal after realizing that it would have resulted in acquiring $104 million worth of debt on the team and stadium. Sullivan sold the team to the popular businessman, Victor Kiam.

When the owner of the Buffalo Bills, Ralph Wilson, passed away in 2014, Trump made his best efforts to purchase the team, which was valued at $870 million. He made a bid of $1 billion, but a bigger bid of $1.4 billion from businessman Terry Pegula, the owner of the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, won the team.


Despite Trump’s unsuccessful attempts to purchase an NFL team, his interest in doing so and his strained relationship with the league have made him a topic of discussion in the media.

In case you missed it: