In a bit of irrelevant news to the immediate goings-on's with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but out of news that is relevant in reflection on team history, former Palace Sports and Entertainment CEO Tom Wilson has joined Illitch family (who own the Detroit Red Wings as well as Detroit Tigers).
Wilson served as governor of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey franchise during Palace Sports tenure of ownership from 1999 until 2008. Wilson also oversaw the sports-and-entertainment empire that was Palace Sports, which owns the Detroit Pistons, the Palace at Auburn Hills and other venues. With the death of Bill Davidson last year, the empire has started to come undone and Davidson's widow is in the process of selling off what is left.
As president and CEO of the soon-to-be-named new enterprise, Wilson will provide input into every aspect of the Ilitch companies. One of his initial strategic priorities will be to leverage the natural business opportunities among Olympia Entertainment, the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers – while also aggressively looking for new areas of collaboration to grow these businesses as well as other companies within the Ilitch enterprise.
While there was disdain for out-of-town oversight of the Lightning during the Palace Sports reign, the franchise still blossomed. Tom Wilson was part of the reason for that, and we wish him well on his career ahead.