Tigers and Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch says he wants to buy a third major professional Detroit sports franchise – the Pistons.
Ilitch said in a statement Monday he is interested in purchasing the basketball team in part because he fears the area could lose it if an out-of-town buyer comes forward. Ilitch says he notified the Pistons on Monday.
The Pistons announced in June that Citi Private Bank’s Sports Finance and Advisory team was assisting in the potential sale of the team.
Owner Karen Davidson has said she’s considering a sale of the franchise by itself or as part of a package with Palace Sports and Entertainment, which includes The Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadow Brook Music Festival.
Her husband, Bill Davidson, died last year.
“The team has kind of been in limbo since the death of owner, Bill Davidson,” said Vince Goodwill, Detroit News sportswriter.
“It’s not really known if Joe Dumars was able to have the autonomy to spend money the way he would have if Mr. Davidson was alive,” Goodwill said.
Goodwill said he also thinks moving the team downtown would make them more accessible to their core fans.
(Copyright 2010 by WWJ. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)