Ilitch Holdings, Inc.
Company typePrivate
Founded1999; 25 years ago (1999)
FounderMike Ilitch
Marian Ilitch
HeadquartersDetroit, Michigan, U.S.
Key people
Marian Ilitch (Chairman)
Christopher Ilitch (President, CEO)
Scott Fisher (CFO)
ServicesProfessional services
Revenue$568.41 million (2020)[1]
OwnerMarian Ilitch
Number of employees
23,000 (2020) [2]

Ilitch Holdings, Inc. is an American holding company established in 1999 to provide all companies owned by Mike and Marian Ilitch with professional and technical services. Its privately held businesses include Little Caesars Pizza, the National Hockey League (NHL) Detroit Red Wings, the Major League Baseball (MLB) Detroit Tigers, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Olympia Parking, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, 313 Presents, the Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, Hockeytown Cafe, and a variety of venues within these entities. Ilitch Holdings subsidiaries manage Detroit's Fox Theatre, City Theatre, Comerica Park, Pine Knob Music Theatre, Michigan Lottery Amphitheater, Meadow Brook Amphitheater, and Little Caesars Arena, which replaced Joe Louis Arena after closing in July 2017.[3]

Ilitch Holdings, Inc. is headquartered in the Fox Theatre Building in Detroit, Michigan.

Christopher Ilitch, one of Mike & Marian Ilitch's seven children, is CEO and President of Ilitch Holdings and Chairman of Ilitch Charities. Marian Ilitch serves as the chairman.


Mike and Marian Ilitch started Little Caesars in 1959. A complementary business, Blue Line Foodservice, was soon started to supply ingredients and other products to the growing restaurant chain.[4]

In 1982, Ilitch entered into sports with the purchase of the struggling Red Wings. Ilitch, executing his long-term Detroit business conglomerate plan, also purchased Olympia Stadium Corporation that year.[4][5] Olympia Stadium operated the Joe Louis and Cobo arenas.[5]

The couple purchased and restored the downtown Fox Theatre in 1987.[4] In 1988, they fielded an indoor football team, Detroit Drive, in the Arena Football League.[6] In 1992, Mike purchased the Detroit Tigers.[4] Purchasing the Tigers led him to sell the Drive in February 1994 given the leagues' overlapping schedules.[6]

In 1996, the Ilitch family purchased the Birmingham movie theater in Birmingham, Michigan.[7]


Ilitch Holdings was formed in 1999 to manage their various holdings.[4] It formed Uptown Entertainment to own its Birmingham 8 and Palladium 12 theaters.[8]

Until 2004, Christopher and Denise Ilitch, children of Mike and Marian, were co-presidents of Ilitch Holdings. At that time, Denise grew estranged from both her brother and parents and resigned from the position.[9]

On July 1, 2015, Uptown Entertainment sold the Birmingham 8 movie theater to Birmingham Theatre, LLC.[7] Chris Ilitch, then president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, was designated as successor to his parents' positions, chair and vice chair, in running the companies. At the time Mike was running the sports teams, while Marian was in charge of the casino. Marian owned the casino due to MLB regulations that bar team owners from owning gambling establishments.[9] After the death of Mike in March 2017, Chris took over management of the sports teams per the established succession plan.[10]


Ilitch Holdings has been criticised for leaving many properties in Detroit untenanted, allowing them to decay, and for demolishing historic buildings and leaving lots empty, or only using the lots as car parking, rather than developing them.[11][12][13][14][15][excessive citations]



  1. ^ Company profile
  2. ^ "Ilitch Holdings Careers & Jobs". 18 May 2020.
  3. ^ "WWE superstars shine in farewell event at Joe Louis Arena". mlive. 2017-07-30. Retrieved 2022-04-07.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Ilitch, owner of Tigers and Red Wings, dies at 87". February 12, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  5. ^ a b McCollum, Brian (February 11, 2017). "Ilitch leaves music, entertainment legacy in downtown Detroit". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Shea, Bill (January 20, 2012). "Arena Football League wants rematch with Detroit". Crain's Detroit Business. Crain Communications, Inc. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Grossman, Jay (June 2, 2015). "New ownership purchases historic Birmingham 8 Theatre". HometownLife. USA Today Network. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  8. ^ Voss, Elizabeth (December 19, 2008). "Unchained cinemas: Locally owned theaters fill seats through services, attentiveness". Crain's Detroit Business. Crain Communications, Inc. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Reindl, JC; Snavely, Brent (May 5, 2016). "Ilitches make it official: Chris in line to lead family business empire". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Reindl, JC (February 13, 2017). "Chris Ilitch now in charge of dad's empire under succession plan". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  11. ^ Aguilar, Louis (July 17, 2019). "Ilitch entities own 52 empty properties around MotorCity Casino". The Detroit News. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  12. ^ Aguilar, Louis (October 15, 2019). "Ilitches linked to 147 unused Detroit properties". The Detroit News. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  13. ^ "Ilitch Organization Has Another Grassroots Social-Media Critic In Detroit". Deadline Detroit. August 10, 2020. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  14. ^ Perkins, Tom (September 12, 2017). "How the Ilitches used 'dereliction by design' to get their new Detroit arena". Detroit Metro Times. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  15. ^ Gross, Allie (May 23, 2018). "Blighted Ilitch-owned buildings near Little Caesars Arena go unticketed". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  16. ^ "Ilitch family buys half of Atlantic City casino pending approval from regulators". mlive. 2021-04-06. Retrieved 2022-04-07.