Ilitch Holdings

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Ilitch Holdings, Inc.
Holding Company
Founded 1999
Founder Mike Ilitch
Marian Ilitch
Headquarters Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Key people
Marian Ilitch (Chairman)
Christopher Ilitch (President and CEO)
Services Professional services
Revenue $3.4 billion (2016)[1]
Owner Marian Ilitch
Number of employees
23,000 (2016)[1]

Ilitch Holdings, Inc. is an American company established in 1999 to provide all companies owned by Marian Ilitch with professional and technical services. Her 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, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, and a variety of venues within these entities. Ilitch Holdings subsidiaries manage Detroit's Fox Theatre, City Theatre, Comerica Park, and the Little Caesars Arena.

Ilitch Holdings, Inc. is headquartered in the Fox Theatre Building in Detroit, Michigan. Ilitch has been responsible for the redevelopment of the Fox Theatre building but the demolition of numerous historic buildings for parking lots in The District Detroit.

The family has also established Ilitch Charities which, among other things, awards annually the "Little Caesars" AAA Hockey Scholarships.

Christopher Ilitch, one of the pair's seven children, is CEO and president of Ilitch Holdings and chairman of Ilitch Charities and also sits on the board of directors or serves as chairman of several Detroit area civic organizations. Marian Ilitch is Chairman of Ilitch Holdings.


Mike and Marian Ilitch started Little Caesars in 1959. A complimentary business, Blue Line Foodservice, was soon started to supply ingredients and other products to the growing restaurant chain.[2]

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.[2][3] Olympia Stadium operated the Joe Louis and Cobo arenas.[4]

The couple purchased in 1987 the downtown Fox Theatre and restored the theatre.[2] In 1988, they fielded a team, Detroit Drive, in the Arena Football league.[5] In 1992, he purchased the Detroit Tigers.[2] Purchasing the Tigers led Ilitch to sell the Drive in February 1994 given the leagues' overlapping schedules.[5]

In 1996, the Ilitch family purchased Birmingham movie theater. The theater was then renovated into an eight-screen multiplex.[6]


Ilitch Holdings was formed in 1999 to manage their various holdings.[2] Ilitch Holdings formed Uptown Entertainment to own its Birmingham 8 and Palladium 12 theaters.[7]

Until 2004, Christopher and Denise Ilitch, children of Mike and Marian, were copresidents of Ilitch Holdings. At that time, Denise became estrangement with her brother and mother and resigned from the position.[8]

On July 1, 2015, Ilitch Holding's Uptown Entertainment sold Birmingham 8 movie theater to Birmingham Theatre, LLC, whose principal member is Bill Herting, president of Centurion Films.[6] Chris Ilitch, then president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, was designated as successor to his parents' position, chair and vice chair, in running the companies. At the time Mike was oversee the sports teams, while Marian oversaw the casino. Marian owned the casino due to MLB regulations that bar team owners from owning gambling establishments.[8] After the death of Mike in March 2017, Chris took over management of the sports teams per the established succession plan.[9]


  • Blue Line Foodservice, restaurant supply distribution
  • Champion Foods, manufacture frozen pizza, breadsticks, calzone and cookie dough kits for private label and store brands
  • Detroit Tigers (1992) MLB team
  • Detroit Red Wings (1982) NHL team
  • Little Caesars Enterprise, Inc. (1959) pizza restaurant
  • Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, fundraising business through assisting group sell pizza kits
  • Olympia Development: The real estate arm which build new Little Caesars Arena
  • Olympia Entertainment (1982) formerly Olympia Stadium Corporation, manages multiple venues in sports and entertainment plus restaurants.
  • MotorCity Casino Hotel, casino owned by Marian Ilitch[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Burden, Melissa; Martinez, Michael (February 13, 2017). "$10K Ilitch investment baked up billion-dollar empire". Detroit News. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Ilitch, owner of Tigers and Red Wings, dies at 87". February 12, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  3. ^ McCollum,, Brian (February 11, 2017). "Ilitch leaves music, entertainment legacy in downtown Detroit". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  4. ^ McCollum, Brian (February 11, 2017). "Ilitch leaves music, entertainment legacy in downtown Detroit". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ a b Grossman, Jay (June 2, 2015). "New ownership purchases historic Birmingham 8 Theatre". HometownLife. USA Today Network. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.

External links[edit]