Terry is an avid sports fan and his connections to the Western New York region run deep. He lived in Buffalo during the Bills’ championship years in the 1990s. He also held season tickets for the Buffalo Sabres from 1980 through 1998.
Born in 1951 and raised in Carbondale, Pa., he attended high school at Scranton Preparatory School. Pegula entered Penn State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1973, and landed his first job with Getty Oil Co. in Victoria, Texas. He later joined Felmont Oil Co., a decision that first brought him to Olean, N.Y., in 1975.
In 1983, he borrowed $7,500 from family and friends to found East Resources Inc., an independent oil and gas exploration and production company operating in the Appalachian Basin. Over the next 27 years, he built it into one of the largest privately held companies in the United States.
Shortly after the sale of East Resources, Terry and Kim helped Penn State University begin an NCAA Division I hockey program with an $88 million donation for the construction of Pegula Ice Arena. They later increased their donation to $102 million to endow scholarships and support the Penn State hockey program and its student athletes. Their gift was the single largest private gift in the university’s history.
Thanks to their generosity, Penn State has been able to add both men’s and women’s varsity hockey teams, with both teams beginning play in 2012-13. Pegula Ice Arena, which opened in 2013 and enjoyed a sold-out 2013-14 season, includes two ice sheets and serves as the only major ice facility within an 80-mile radius of State College.
On Feb. 22, 2011, Terry Pegula became the fourth owner in Buffalo Sabres franchise history. With Pegula at the helm, the Sabres went on a 16-4-4 run over the final 24 games of the season to finish seventh in the East. This included a 9-1-2 record at home, with every remaining home game selling out.
In 2012, Pegula looked to make an even bigger impact on the City of Buffalo, using hockey as a catalyst. On Aug. 29, it was announced that the city had selected Pegula and his development team to develop and construct HARBORCENTER on the 1.7 acre Webster Block across from KeyBank Center. Crews soon began construction on the $172 million HARBORCENTER. The multipurpose facility opened on October 31, 2014 and is anchored by two new NHL-size ice rinks that will be used year-round by a variety of Buffalo-area hockey teams and leagues.
Realizing a long-time dream, Terry and his wife Kim Pegula became owners of the Buffalo Bills franchise on Friday, October 10, 2014. The Pegulas are now the second owners in the team’s 55-year history.
Terry and Kim currently reside in Boca Raton, Fla., and have five children: Michael, Laura, Jessica, Kelly and Matthew. The Pegulas younger daughters, Jessica and Kelly, were both born in Buffalo.