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Ilitch expresses interest in buying Pistons

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT – The Ilitch organization has entered the process to attempt to purchase the NBA’s Detroit Pistons.

“We formally notified the Detroit Pistons that we have interest in purchasing the team,” Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch said in a statement released to the media on Monday. “This is a required first-step and we look forward to the opportunity to move forward in the process.”

Ilitch, along with his wife, Marian, have owned the Red Wings since 1982, and in that time the franchise has won four Stanley Cup championships. Mike Ilitch also purchased the Detroit Tigers in 1992.

In June, Karen Davidson, the widow of the late Pistons owner William Davidson, has said that she expects the sale of the NBA team to be completed prior to the upcoming season.

“When I read in the paper there was a chance that this great sports town could lose one of its professional sports franchises, I just didn’t see how we could let that happen,” Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch said in a statement that was released to the media on Monday.

“The Pistons, just like the Red Wings, Tigers and the Lions, have a rich and storied tradition in this community and they’ve brought pride to fans and our community,” Ilitch said. “You all know I love sports – all sports, from amateur to the various pro sports we’ve had the privilege to be involve with, and like a lot of others I’m sure, I really want to see the Pistons remain the Detroit Pistons.”

The Ilitch offer is the first step in what will potentially be a long process. Additionally, as part of the process laid out to the sellers, the Ilitch organization has entered into a non-disclosure agreement, meaning that they can not make further public comments until the process is completed.

Ilitch has been on record as saying he’d like to see a new downtown arena. If Ilitch’s organization is successful in their bid to purchase the Pistons, this would only enhance the chances of building a new venue in downtown Detroit. But ultimately, whether they purchase the Pistons, or not, the Ilitches are focused on building a new state-of-the-art facility.

“We talked about it internally, and when you take 33 years of experience in professional sports, our commitment, our passion for winning and pursuing championships, and you couple that with the opportunity to have a local, engaged owner for the Pistons, we decided to take a run at it,” Ilitch’s statement read. “We believe we could bring a lot to the table that could be tremendously positive for the Pistons’ franchise, the NBA, and the fans of this community.”

Due to terms of the seller's process, additional information will not be shared until a deal is reached or not.

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