ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Buffalo Bills’ celebratory groundbreaking of their new stadium Monday morning turned emotional during a speech from team owner Terry Pegula.

Pegula, 72, took an extended pause after thanking government leaders and team officials.

“I knew this was going to happen,” Pegula said through tears, following 24 seconds of silence.

Pegula is known for his emotional connection to the teams he grew up watching and has shed a tear in front of cameras at numerous sporting celebrations. But these tears were different.

“We also remember other heroes in Buffalo, who deserved to be mentioned,” he said.

Pegula then listed off the names of those killed during the horrific Buffalo mass shooting last May 14.

“Roberta Drury. Margus Morrison. Andre Mackniel. Aaron Salter. Geraldine Talley. Celestine Chaney. Heyward Patterson. Katherine Massey. Pearl Young. And Ruth Whitfield.”

Applause followed.

“And if I could mention one more person I cheer for every day: My wife, Kim,” Pegula said.

Kim Pegula, who co-owns the Bills and Sabres with her husband, suffered cardiac arrest during her sleep last June. She has been away from the teams while recovering ever since.

“Years ago, David Bellamy penned a song, ‘You’re My Favorite Star,'” Terry Pegula said. “And Kim, you are my favorite star.”

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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as the Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook, Twitter and Threads. See more of his work here.