Chris Granger hired to direct sports and entertainment for Ilitch Holdings

The Detroit News
Chris Granger

Chris Granger has been hired by Ilitch Holdings, Inc. as group president for sports and entertainment.

Granger left his position as president of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings in June. He was in charge of the business operations of the team and led the effort to build the Kings’ new arena, the Golden 1 Center, which opened in October 2016.

According to a press release, Granger will work with Chris Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, “to optimize the fan and partner experience at all Ilitch-related venues; to grow, recruit and retain the significant talent in the business side of the company's sports and entertainment organizations; to collaborate with partners to ensure highly active, attractive and community-focused venues; and more.”

Tom Wilson, president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment, and Duane MacLean, executive vice president of business operations for the Detroit Tigers, will report to Granger. Red Wings GM Ken Holland and Tigers GM Al Avila will report to Ilitch.

"(Granger’s) proven history of innovation, fan-first approach and community commitment are a perfect fit for our team as we prepare for the opening of Little Caesars Arena and ongoing development across The District Detroit,” Ilitch said.

Granger worked in various roles for the NBA from 1999-2013 prior to joining the Kings.

"I'm excited to join Ilitch Holdings at this unprecedented period of growth and opportunity," said Granger. "This organization knows how to do things right for fans, partners and the community, and I look forward to contributing to the dynamic, transformative and impactful work underway."