October 5th, 2010 at 11:19 AM ^

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.


October 5th, 2010 at 2:04 PM ^

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.


October 5th, 2010 at 2:56 PM ^

I'm not sure I agree with him owning 3 of the Detroit teams.  Don't get me wrong, he's a great owner but if you look back to the wings of the 90's and early 2000's, he dumped a ton of money into them.  The second they put a cap on the NHL he starting dumping money into the Tigers.  I just think it's hard for an owner to invest a high # each year on 3 separate teams.

On the bright side, the Pistons would move back to Detroit and share a venue with the Wings...It would be designed to look like Olympia and be built in the sports district.


October 5th, 2010 at 12:36 PM ^

"Before she could inflict real harm"....maybe we should ask Matt Dobek what he thinks about that statement.  Oh wait, we can't.  Because after giving everything he had to that team and organization, he was fired for a BS reason, escorted out of the buliding like a piece of trash, and wound up killing himself.

Like I said, Karen (and her lackies that are still in that organization) can go to hell.


October 5th, 2010 at 1:41 PM ^

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.  


October 5th, 2010 at 3:17 PM ^

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 it's Chris.  We'll see if that lasts.  That family has more politics and backbiting than any of them.


October 5th, 2010 at 3:21 PM ^

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.


October 5th, 2010 at 3:36 PM ^

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.


October 5th, 2010 at 11:26 AM ^

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.


October 5th, 2010 at 2:32 PM ^

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.


October 6th, 2010 at 12:26 AM ^

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?


October 5th, 2010 at 11:11 AM ^

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.


October 5th, 2010 at 2:42 PM ^

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.


October 5th, 2010 at 11:13 AM ^

.....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.


October 5th, 2010 at 11:12 AM ^

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.


October 5th, 2010 at 11:34 AM ^

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.


October 5th, 2010 at 3:21 PM ^

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 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.


October 6th, 2010 at 12:33 AM ^

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.


October 5th, 2010 at 11:30 AM ^

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.


October 5th, 2010 at 11:34 AM ^

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.

st barth

October 5th, 2010 at 11:57 AM ^

I'm not really sure it's good for Detroit to have an Illitch monopoly.  Also, inspite of all the talk of how he is "good for Detroit," he also has torn down and/or left unrenovated many properties downtown.

Also, thinking strategically, I suspect that Illitch wouldn't be buying the Pistons with a strong long term interest in the team.  You might recall that he promptly got rid of the Detroit Drive arena football team when he bought the Tigers because it's season (during the summer) would be in direct competition with the baseball team for Detroiters entertainment dollars.  From that perspective, it wouldn't seem that he would want the Pistons & Redwings.

However, I think his interest in the Pistons is entirely with respect to getting an arena downtown.  He can now leverage the two teams together with his property holding near the Fox theater to get an arena built there.  At the very least, having the two teams in the same building will keep them from playing on the same night.  It gives him quite a bit of control over the entertainment landscape in Detroit.

Still, I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up selling the Pistons after a new arena is in place.  Naturally, with the Pistons tied into a favorable long-term lease to him as well. 


October 5th, 2010 at 2:15 PM ^

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.


October 5th, 2010 at 11:47 AM ^

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.