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Who owns the Detroit Tigers?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2017 | Estate Plan |

Family Plan is a Matter of Trust

Mike Illitch, who bought the team for $85 million in 1992, died Feb. 10 at age 87.  Because his widow, Marian Illitch, owns MotorCity Casino Hotel, she is prohibited from inheriting the Tigers under Major League Baseball’s rule that forbids team owners from having any stake in gambling operations.

As part of the estate and succession planning, the Tigers at some point were put into a trust, and Christopher Illitch, the son of Mike and Marian, became the de feacto owner and chief executive of the Tigers upon his father’s death.  He ultimately will decide the direction of the franchise.

The actual owner of the team is the trust, however, and such trusts offer a way around MLB’s gambling rules.

The Illitch family issued a succession-planning statement in May 2016 that confirmed Chris Illitch would continue to oversee their holdings, but it didn’t reveal specifics of ownership structures.

Click here to read the full article from Crain’s Detroit Business.


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