This was coming, per the Detroit News’s Chris McCosky…
Ilitch Holdings Inc. announced a realignment of business operations Wednesday that includes temporary furloughs and layoffs.
The move comes after six months paying salaries and benefits for all employees of the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings, and at the Fox Theatre, despite the cancellation of more than 200 sporting and entertainment events during measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Baseball and hockey operations staffs are expected to be unaffected by the realignment.
Chris Granger, group president of sports and entertainment for Ilitch Holdings, sent emails to the affected employees Wednesday morning.
“Our industry, one predicated on bringing people together and designed to bring joy to so many, was the first to shut down and, most likely, will be one of the last to return,” Granger wrote. “Indeed, even as capacity restrictions are relaxed, we remain severely limited in our ability to welcome back guests in any meaningful way. Of course, we are not alone. COVID-19 has negatively impacted the entire sports and entertainment industry, including our partners, our vendors, our sponsors, and our guests.
“It is in this environment that we have had to make the difficult decision, with respect to our business operations, to put in place some temporary furloughs, as well as layoffs.”
And the Free Press’s Evan Petzold:
Ilitch Holdings, Inc., is going through the process of furloughing and eliminating positions on the business operations sides of the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings and its other entertainment venues, according to an email sent to employees and obtained by the Free Press on Wednesday.
The cost-cutting measures are a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company is notifying employees on Wednesday, according to the email from Chris Granger, Ilitch Holdings’ Group President of Sports and Entertainment. The total number of furloughs and layoffs to employees wasn’t immediately clear.
Furloughed employees will still receive benefits.
The cuts only affect the business side of Ilitch’s sports and entertainment empire, which includes venues such as Little Caesars Arena, Comerica Park and the Fox Theatre. The baseball and hockey operations side of the Tigers and Red Wings will not be impacted by Wednesday’s moves, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told the Free Press.