Who Owns the Detroit Tigers?


Updated: March 22, 2023

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The Detroit Tigers are a professional baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan, and are members of the American League Central Division in Major League Baseball (MLB). The team was founded in 1894 and has been a part of MLB since its inception in 1901. As with any professional sports team, the question of ownership is always at the forefront of fans’ minds.

Currently, the Detroit Tigers are owned by a company called Ilitch Holdings, Inc. Mike Ilitch, the founder of Little Caesars Pizza, purchased the team in 1992 for $85 million. After his passing in 2017, ownership of the team was transferred to his wife, Marian Ilitch. Marian Ilitch is the co-founder of Little Caesars Pizza and has been a part of the ownership group since its inception.

The Ilitch family also owns other sports teams in the Detroit area, including the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Ilitch Holdings, Inc. also owns several other businesses, including Little Caesars Pizza, Olympia Entertainment, and MotorCity Casino Hotel.

Under the ownership of the Ilitch family, the Detroit Tigers have experienced both highs and lows. In 2006, the Tigers reached the World Series but ultimately lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2012, the team won the American League pennant but fell short in the World Series once again, this time to the San Francisco Giants.

What Is Detroit Tigers?

The Detroit Tigers are a professional baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan, United States. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the American League (AL) Central division. The team was founded in 1894 as part of the Western League and joined the American League in 1901.

The Tigers have a rich history in baseball, having won four World Series championships (1935, 1945, 1968, 1984) and eleven American League pennants. The team has produced many legendary players over the years, including Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline, and Justin Verlander, among others.

The team plays its home games at Comerica Park, a modern ballpark that opened in 2000. The Tigers are known for their distinctive orange-and-navy color scheme and their mascot, Paws the Tiger.

History of the Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers are a professional baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The team was founded in 1894 as a minor league franchise, and it became a charter member of the American League in 1901. Since then, the Tigers have won four World Series championships and have had several successful periods throughout their history.

In the early years of the franchise, the Tigers were led by several notable players, including Ty Cobb, who played for the team from 1905 to 1926. During his career, Cobb set numerous records and was regarded as one of the greatest players in baseball history.

The Tigers won their first World Series championship in 1935, led by player-manager Mickey Cochrane and pitcher Schoolboy Rowe. The team went on to win another championship in 1945, behind the strong pitching of Hal Newhouser.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Tigers experienced a period of mediocrity, but they returned to prominence in the 1980s under the leadership of manager Sparky Anderson. The team won the World Series in 1984 behind the performances of pitcher Jack Morris and outfielder Kirk Gibson.

The Tigers continued to field competitive teams in the 1990s and 2000s, but they did not win another World Series championship until 2012. That year, the team was led by triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera and pitcher Justin Verlander.

The Current Owner of the Detroit Tigers

Mike Ilitch and his wife, Marian Ilitch, are the current owners of the Detroit Tigers. The couple bought the team in 1992 for $85 million. Mike Ilitch was a successful businessman who founded Little Caesars Pizza and also owned the Detroit Red Wings. He passed away in 2017, and his wife, Marian, took over the ownership of the team.

Marian Ilitch is also a successful entrepreneur who co-founded Little Caesars Pizza with her late husband. She is the current owner of the Detroit Tigers and also the Detroit Red Wings. Under her ownership, the Detroit Tigers have reached the World Series twice, in 2006 and 2012, but unfortunately lost both times.

Success and Failures of the Detroit Tigers under Current Ownership

The Detroit Tigers are currently owned by the Ilitch family, who purchased the team in 1992. Under their ownership, the team has experienced both success and failures.

Successes:

  • The Tigers made it to the World Series twice under the Ilitch family’s ownership, in 2006 and 2012, but unfortunately lost both times.
  • The team won four consecutive AL Central titles from 2011 to 2014.
  • The Tigers have also had many individual successes, including multiple Cy Young awards and MVP awards for their players.

Failures:

  • In recent years, the Tigers have struggled to remain competitive, with several seasons of losing records.
  • The team has also struggled with player contracts, with large contracts for underperforming players weighing down the team’s payroll.
  • In 2017, the team began a rebuilding process, trading away many of their top players in exchange for prospects.

Overall, while the Ilitch family’s ownership has seen some successes, the team has also struggled in recent years and is currently in a rebuilding phase.

Other Previous Owners of the Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers are a professional baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan, and they have had several previous owners throughout their history. Here are some of the notable ones:

  1. James D. Burns (1901-1903) – Burns was one of the founding members of the American League, which the Tigers joined in 1901. He was also one of the original owners of the Tigers.

  2. William H. Yawkey (1903-1956) – Yawkey purchased the Tigers from Burns in 1903 and owned the team for over 50 years. He oversaw the construction of Navin Field (later renamed Tiger Stadium) and was responsible for bringing in players such as Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg, and Charlie Gehringer.

  3. Fred Knorr and John Fetzer (1956-1961) – Knorr and Fetzer purchased the team from the Yawkey estate after Yawkey’s death in 1956.

  4. John Fetzer (1961-1983) – Fetzer bought out Knorr’s share of the team in 1961 and became the sole owner. Under his ownership, the Tigers won the World Series in 1968.

  5. Tom Monaghan (1983-1992) – Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza, purchased the team from Fetzer in 1983. He sold the team to Mike Ilitch in 1992.

  6. Mike Ilitch (1992-2017) – Ilitch was the owner of Little Caesars Pizza and purchased the Tigers from Monaghan in 1992. He oversaw the construction of Comerica Park and was known for his commitment to fielding a competitive team.

  7. Chris Ilitch (2017-present) – Chris Ilitch, son of Mike Ilitch, took over as the owner of the Tigers after his father’s death in 2017.

Comparison of the Detroit Tigers Ownership Group to Other MLB Teams

There are 30 teams in Major League Baseball, and each team has a unique ownership structure. Here is a comparison of the Detroit Tigers ownership group to other MLB teams:

  1. New York Yankees – The Yankees are owned by the Steinbrenner family, who purchased the team in 1973. The team is currently owned by Hal Steinbrenner, son of George Steinbrenner.

  2. Boston Red Sox – The Red Sox are owned by Fenway Sports Group, which is led by John Henry. The ownership group also owns Liverpool FC of the English Premier League.

  3. Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers are owned by Guggenheim Baseball Management, a group led by Mark Walter, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and others.

  4. Chicago Cubs – The Cubs are owned by the Ricketts family, who purchased the team in 2009.

  5. San Francisco Giants – The Giants are owned by a group of investors led by Larry Baer, who has been the team’s CEO since 2012.

Compared to these teams, the Detroit Tigers ownership group has had a more stable structure over the years. While other teams may have gone through changes in ownership or had ownership groups with multiple stakeholders, the Tigers have had a few key owners over the course of their history. Additionally, the Tigers ownership group has been made up of individuals or families, while other teams have been owned by groups or corporations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the Detroit Tigers have been owned by several different individuals and groups throughout their history. The team was most recently sold to the Ilitch family in 1992.

No, Ilitch Holdings, Inc. is a private, family-owned company.

The Ilitch family also owns the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League and the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit.

The Ilitch family purchased the Detroit Tigers in 1992.

As of my knowledge cutoff date of September 2021, the Detroit Tigers were owned by a trust, following the death of previous owner Marian Ilitch. The trust is managed by the Ilitch family, who also own Ilitch Holdings, Inc.

Conclusion

In conclusion, The Detroit Tigers are currently owned by the Ilitch family. The family purchased the team in 1992 and has owned the team ever since. Under their ownership, the Tigers have experienced both success and failures, including multiple World Series appearances and AL Central titles, as well as recent struggles and a rebuilding process. Detroit Tigers were owned by Christopher Ilitch, son of the late Mike Ilitch. The Ilitch family has owned the team since 1992 when Mike Ilitch purchased the team from Tom Monaghan. The Ilitch family also owns several other sports and entertainment businesses, including Little Caesars Pizza, the Detroit Red Wings, and the Fox Theatre in Detroit. While the Tigers have had several previous owners throughout their history, the Ilitch family has been the longest-tenured ownership group for the team.


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