Tigers, Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch passes away at 87

By Michael Dixon
Mike Ilitch, owner of the Detroit Tigers, owner is seen inside his private suite before a Tigers game against the Toronto Blue Jays,Sept. 28, 2006, in Detroit. (AP Photo/The Detroit News, Clarence Tabb,Jr.)

The sports world — especially the Detroit sports world — was dealt some sad news on Friday. Mike Ilitch, owner of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings, passed away at 87.

Ilitch purchased the Red Wings in 1982. Since then, the team has won four Stanley Cup Titles (1997, 1998, 2002, 2008). The Wings also have a still running streak of 25 straight years with a playoff appearance. He’s also overseen the building of Little Caesars Arena, which will open in 2017 for both the Red Wings and Detroit Pistons.

He became the Tigers owner in 1992. Under his ownership, Detroit has won four American League Central titles (2011-2014), one wild card spot (2006) and two American League pennants (2006, 2012). In 2000, the Tigers moved from Tiger Stadium to Comerica Park.

Additionally, in sports as other ventures, Ilitch was a key figure in the city of Detroit’s effort to revitalize its downtown.