Pizza mogul Mike Ilitch will buy the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment, Inc., according to a report today by Crain’s Detroit Business.
Report: Illitch to buy Pistons
How much money does this guy have? When do you get to a point of being stretched to thin if you want to spend to win?
It's an investment. The key to investing is to diversify so that when one investment is failing, others carry the weight. The Red Wings aren't going to last forever, and are long overdue for a down period. Hopefully, he can build the Pistons up to a point where they generate enough revenue to cover the Wings and Tigers when that happens.
But all of his current investments are primarily tied to the Detroit economy...
The economy is at a low. I'm not saying it can't get worse, but there is a better chance that it starts getting better. The Pistons also suck right now. I would imagine that gets him a pretty good deal. That means that if he can build the Pistons into a top caliber team again, he can build the team value back up. Buy low, sell high.
Last season was the down period for the Wings.
got out before she could inflict real harm.
before she married him to scam his billions. Because Davidson always said when asked that the Pistons were his legacy, and were going to stay in his family, to his kids. And the ground wasn't even hard after his burial and she's already talking about selling. She should have given it to the kids if she didn't want to run it. But then, she doesn't get all the $$$ from it.
Maybe he should have willed the team to his kids, then? They don't seem too broken up about the team being sold off. Not that I'm defending Karen Davidson here, but it seems like Mr. D's dreams of them being a family legacy were entirely in his head.
And just because he was good owner does not necessarily mean his children would have been as well. (This is also an issue for the Ilitches, given that Mike's about 80.)
This is why Ilitch is a good owner... instead of just hoping his kids would take to the biz after he's gone, he's actually installed Chris as the head of the organization.
is funny. How many kids has he gone through running his organization, than replaced or gotten rid of with another one? There the one who went down to run Dallas...and Denise...now it's Chris. We'll see if that lasts. That family has more politics and backbiting than any of them.
It's really not as bad as all that. Denise was forced out by Chris, yes, but the other situation you mention (Denise's husband taking over the Stars) played a part in that anyway so it's not really like a series of events.
I mean, he wasn't private about them. And to him, in the family probably meant his wife and kids. He probably didn't think he had to will them to his kids, because when his wife died, the kids would get them. Though maybe he needed a prenup too. Marriage, ain't it grand? If his wife and/or kids didn't want them, they should have said...uhm, Bill, we don't really like basketball. Then maybe he could have had a transition in place, with or without the other minority owners. Because I'm betting he didn't want his team to flounder while all this flux goes on.
His kids did make it clear that they weren't going to be running things, supposedly, hence the dumping of their Florida assets (like the Tampa Bay Lightning, whose purchase they actually financed because they were so desperate to get rid of them) and their minor league baseball teams. But Davidson refused to believe that they'd sell the Pistons because they were so special to him... he was clearly wrong.
And we shouldn't blame this all on Karen, either. His kids (who aren't hers) obviously don't give a shit about this situation.
I think she knows she's in no position to run the franchise, has no competence in it, no interest in it.
She's doing the right thing. Ask Reds fans how they feel about Marge Schott not selling, or Rams fans how they feel about Georgia Frontiere not selling.
She's actually acting in the best interests of the team (and its fans) by liquidating her inherited stake in the Pistons.
And this guy does?
both the Reds and Rams DID win World Titles during their tenures as owner.
Seriously, what? What on earth is the matter with you?
Wish the pizza was better, I'd support him if I could choke it down.
Wrong. NFL rules prohibit ownership of teams in other NFL markets... ie. Paul Allen can own the Seahawks and the Trail Blazers because there is no NFL team to compete with in Portland, but Kroenke could not own the Rams and teams in Denver that compete with the Broncos.
I'm honestly shocked that so many people don't understand this rule. It's been in force for over a decade (since Allen bought the Seahawks and Huizenga bought the Dolphins). Yet someone always brings up the claim that NFL owners are prohibited from any kind of cross ownership.
where the Lions play or not, Brodie?
You can own as many teams as you want in one market. Ilitch could own the Lions, absolutely.
Let's put it this way: The Rooney family can't buy the Phoenix Coyotes because the Coyotes compete with the Cardinals. They could buy the Penguins, though, because then they'd just be competing with themselves. They could also buy the Columbus Blue Jackets because there is no NFL team to compete with in the Columbus market. Does this make sense now?
This is ideal, IME. This ensures that the Pistons won't leave the city, and since the Palace comes with the deal, it gives the Wings a place to play while (hopefully) the city builds a state-of-the-art arena downtown for both teams.
Spending millions on a downtown arena. Just increase taxes ever so slightly, or issue C-rated bonds, I'm sure it'll all work out.
Extend the hotel tax like they did for Comerica Park and Ford Field. The benefits of having the Wings, Pistons and all of the top concerts that come to the area downtown can not be overstated. You can't but a price on what having people downtown means for the city's recovery.
The Wings are not playing in the Palace. Period. They've said so many, many times. Moving out there would be a disaster... they'd have to share locker rooms and practice space with the Pistons and the Wings staff would have to move into the Pistons office space.
Plus, most of the Wings players live in Novi and most season ticket holders live in western Wayne County and Downriver. It would hurt attendance. And then there's the fact that you'd have to cancel extremely valuable concert dates to fit the Wings in. It just won't work.
.....and the Illitch empire gets bigger. He now controls all entertainment/venues in the metro detroit area (except the Lions). Dont forget his "wife owns" Motor City Casino outright.
Dont be surprised if the Red Wings play at the Palace for a few years until they get a new stadium downtown.
I'd heard a few years back that he's actually relatively cash-poor and by far most of his wealth is tied up in his business holdings.
I'm sure that he's taken out a nice loan to get this done.
I love me some Hot n Ready pizza! Illitch is gonna run shit, I hope he's as supportive of them as he is with the Tigers and Wings!
I think this is a bad development for the Tigers and Wings, unless he has a few partners in on the purchase.
please hire someone to do voodoo magic on the Ford family into forcing to sell the team to you! The Lions fans would greatly appreciate it!
Isn't there an NFL rule that an owner cannot own another professional sports team in the same market? That would unfortunately preclude Illich from getting the Lions.
Also, who knew that Ford was a Michigan grad? Doesn't seem to be putting that degree to proper use with the way his team has performed for the last 50 years.
He's not a Michigan grad. He left Michigan to serve in the war and then transferred to Yale when he got home.
I saw him on a list of notable University of Michigan people and made the false assumption that he was a grad. I don't know if Yale helps his case though. I kid.
I did come across this http://ijsf.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/nfl-ownership-rule-challenged/. Basically an NFL majority owner cannot be a majority owner of another professional sports team. Sounds like Illich would have some leeway if he wanted to monopolize ever single sports market in the metro Detroit area. Not that that would ever actually happen though.
As I mentioned above, that is not actually the rule. Kroenke couldn't buy the Rams because his teams were in Denver... if he owned the St Louis Blues, he would have been totally fine.
See Wayne Huizenaga, who simultaneously owned three of Miami's pro sports teams. Or Paul Allen's ownership of the Seahawks and Trail Blazers.
god bless you mike illitch and your mediocre but very convenient pizza
Illitch owns Detroit, I mean the whole city. Wings, Tigers, Pistons (I know Auburn Hills for now), fox theatre, countless small businesses.
I now he wants to turn every dollar into 2, but he has always tried to rebuild and invest in Detroit for the better.
Mixed feelings about this. I hope Ilitch isn't stretching himself too thin, and I think this means a future mixed-use arena for the Wings and Pistons - always really liked that they were separated, and the Palace isn't exactly run-down.
But then again, the man does know how to run a winning organization.
I totally agree with this sentiment. I'm just hoping he hires someone basketball savvy to take over this part of his empire.
I totally agree with this sentiment. I'm just hoping he hires someone basketball savvy to take over this part of his empire.
He should get a medal for getting rid of an arena football team.
in Detroit. And if you think baseball's a bore, a much better summer night than anything else the city had to offer. He got rid of them because they were outdrawing the Tigers.
Well, let's not forget that the Pistons are only a piece to the puzzle of what Ilitch is getting. A major piece, to be sure, but with the Pistons come the Palace and Pine Knob. It really is a huge addition to Ilitch's entertainment empire. I don't see him buying it for the sake of selling.
And re: the downtown properties, practically everyone who's ever owned property downtown has done some demolition or left it derelict. Not really an Ilitch thing, it's a city-has-a-terrible-business-environment thing. If the purchase of the Pistons is another step toward a Foxtown arena, then in the end it's a great thing.
I'm really interested in what the implications will be for the Palace. Yea, in the short-term, it could bring the Wings there while they build a new arena in Fox Town, but what about after that? Would the new arena be an all-purpose (dual-team) venue? On one hand, that would seem like the more profitable play for Ilitch, but on the other, the Palace is one of the top two or three successful venues in the nation year after year.
The Palace is old but Bill Davidson put a lot of money into upkeep. The Palace is in better shape than a lot of other 20 year old venues. However I think this would actually send the Pistons to the city instead of the Wings to Detroit. The Palace would continue to be a venue for concerts, shows, etc. Then again he would save quite a bit of money moving the Wings to Auburn Hills and holding off on building a new stadium for a while.
The Tigers despite going 81-81 which isnt too bad...still continue to have very good attendance. One thing Illitch can vouche for is that people in Michigan love and are loyal to their sports.
It's true that the Palace is 21 years old, but it has undergone significant renovations in the last 5 years (e.g., it's main concourse was renovated in 2008), and it has been well-maintained, so they could get another 20 years out of that sucker easy. Plus, it was built for cash (i.e. suites) right from the get-go, so it doesn't suffer from the "Hey, how do I make money here?" syndrome that other arenas (e.g., Key Arena in Seattle, which is why the Sonics moved) suffer from.
The only problem with the Palace is the location is not ideal, as it's not centrally located in the Metro Detroit area, but b/c of the quality of the venue itself, along with aggressive programming (besides Pistons, they have tons of concerts, Disney on Ice, etc), they are very successful.
And it has an event almost every night of the year. That's why the arena can still be profitable even if the Pistons move downtown.
The Palace is the arena that broke the mold. It has way more luxury suites than any arena built before it. Basically, every arena before it is outdated, while the ones built after all followed its blueprint.
I totally agree. During telecasts, seemingly every national announcer points out how the arena still looks good and has the feel of a "modern" arena. Compare that to the O-rena in Orlando, which was outdated almost as soon as it was completed and has already been bypassed for a new arena. I think that a downtown arena makes sense for the Wings and Pistons, but the Palace is still a fine venue (as compared to MSG, which is historic but definitely showing its age).
One of the big hold ups in getting a new arena for the Wings was that since the City was was unwilling to pony up bucks or incentives, Illitch couldn't find enough collateral to secure enough funding for an arena from private lenders.He can't technically list his wife's holdings in Motor City Casino due to sport leagues' rules. So if this is true and he is buying the Pistons it means:
1) The credit market has eased up enough from the 2007-2010 recession to allow Illitch to get affordable financing for the Pistons and a new arena.. meaning Karen Davidson didn't push a hard sell.
2) He's just fronting enough cash to get lead ownership role in a mutli-owner purchase (controlling interest)
3) CONSPIRACY THEORY ALERT: He's buying the Pistons long enough to get a downtown arena agreement signed and contracted then will flip it over to Dan Gilbert who rumor is shopping his interest in the cavs now that they're LeBron-less. Think Expos-Red Sox like management swap back in the 90's...
I wish the Pizza buisness would buy the Lions
long before this Illitch was in talks with the city of Detroit to build a new downtown arena for both the Wings and Pistons to play in and now that he actually owns both of them his position just got much stronger I think we'll see a new arena in the next few years he already owns enough property around the fox to put it in
And the other thing is that when the Joe is torn down, that will allow Cobo Hall to be expanded, which is necessary if the city is to keep the Auto Show.
I'm basically pleased with this, but I fear that we'll have to go down this road again in a few years' time. Mike Ilitch is no spring chicken. I would not be surprised to see at least one of the three franchises sold when he passes away.
He wants to build a multi-purpose stadium for hockey and basketball........makes sense financially.