Tom Wilson joins Ilitch Holdings

by | Feb 23, 2010 | 10 comments

A little birdie (who’s in the know)  made mention of this yesterday….

Via Craines Detroit

Former Palace Sports & Entertainment President Tom Wilson will be introduced at noon today as the newest executive with Detroit’s Ilitch Holdings Inc.

The press conference, announced by the Ilitch organization, will be held at MotorCity Casino, which is owned by Marian Ilitch. Ilitch Holdings President and CEO Chris Ilitch will introduce Wilson, who resigned as president of Auburn Hills-based PS&E last week. Tom Pyden, vice president of corporate communications for Ilitch Holdings, confirmed he will be introduced today.

….It’s unknown if the Ilitches are interested in buying the Pistons and the Palace.

Great move for Ilitch and glad to see Tom stay in the Detroit Metro Area.  It’s a win-win.

Presser at 1pm.


  1. lou korpas

    who better to build a new Arena downtown??

  2. basketballnmike

    good to hear, lets hope this means they want to buy the Pistons now too. I heard a rumor that Wilson was interested in joining a group to do so, and obviously he can’t sell the team to himself while he is still an employee of the team… So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this means bigger things than just a new Red Wings stadium.

  3. Mr. Miller

    If Joe D, is smart he would leave also Ms. Davidson is in her own world and the Pistons are not a priorty!

  4. junior

    mcdyess: (On ovation)
    “I wasn’t expecting it at all, I was kind of emotional when I looked up and saw everyone clapping. I gave a lot of good years here to this organization and to get an ovation like that was heartwarming. I was trying to look around and hope that no one was looking at my face because they could see it on my face that I was a little emotional. It was definitely good to see that. Just seeing the guys and being in this arena again, I didn’t think it would be this tough, but it was.”

    glad we could show mcdyess that we really appreciated all the hard work he gave us. thank you to the pistons fans who stood up and cheered for dyess for all those who wished we could of been there to do it ourselves. GO PISTONS

  5. PF


    Wilson always worked for the Palace/Pistons and competed against other Detroit teams/sports venues so it’s going to be weird to see him actually competing against the Palace/Pistons now.

    I wouldn’t be able to do that. I wouldn’t be able to work for the Pistons, defending them, doing my best to make them successful from a business standpoint and then, all of a sudden, leaving them and accepting to work for a competing team, which essentially means competing against the Pistons now.

    But that’s how business works, I guess.

  6. DieHardPistonsFan


  7. PF

    Ilitches denied it at first, but after a few hours they confirmed they hired Wilson. So the news is not false.

    Maybe the Pistons will move in downtown Detroit once the Wings get their new arena? At least in this way Wilson wouldn’t have to compete against his old team, the Pistons.

  8. SW

    Here’s what is going to happen…Ilitch Holdings (with Wilson and others as large contributors) buys PS&E, and builds a new arena downtown for both teams (doubles the collateral for private funding, eliminates the red tape with the city, maximizes profit since you won’t owe them concessions and portions of the money from the gates)…The Palace is retained as a high-profile concert and event center for the suburbs…even better than a NY or LA (whose large venues in those cities compete against each other just like the Wings and Pistons used to) you can bring big time attractions for a show or set of shows at both the new arena and the Palace (different markets — downriver/northern Ohio and the suburbs while stretching to areas north), they don’t have to compete at that point, they can leverage each other. And only a person like Wilson could actually pull that off, the Palace was named to best venue in the country after 20+ years last year.

    In general, you simply DO NOT hire a person of Wilson’s caliber (who easily would have had ANY job he wanted in this entire country with a franchise/entertainment conglomerate) to oversee all of Ilitch’s holdings just for a new Wings arena when you already have plenty of people in executive positions who can handle that themselves. The Red Wings have enough brass of their own to where AT MOST they could have used Wilson as a consultant, not hiring him in with a job description “to be defined later.” Wilson is widely known as a shrewd businessman who was part of Davidson’s brass to privately finance the Palace, got them out of huge financial penalties when they sold the Lightning, etc.

    And remember two things: 1) The Wings and Pistons started talking over a year ago about a plan to share the Palace for 5 years, the Wings’ only viable option to pass them by while a new stadium is built, and 2) Wilson is not overseeing the Red Wings, he has supreme control over the whole Ilitch enchilada, for again, no other purpose than to grow their business significantly. Wilson leaves the Pistons and within days is with the Wings??? Speaks volumes because there is no way something much, much bigger hasn’t been in the works for quite a while. If something wasn’t planned to that scale, Ilitch had no reason to hire a person like him.



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