| Detroit Free Press
Why Detroit Tigers’ Ron Gardenhire is retiring immediately
Detroit Tigers GM Al Avila and manager Ron Gardenhire met with reporters Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020 to announce Gardenhire’s immediate retirement.
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.
“These actions, which are being implemented throughout the day today, are incredibly hard, especially for those who regrettably will be leaving us,” Granger said in the email. “Each of you will be contacted today and notified whether or not any changes are being made to your employment. For those of you impacted, details regarding any furloughs or layoffs will be shared with you.”
Over the past six months, Ilitch Holdings has canceled over 200 sporting events and concerts in its venues. The Tigers played 31 games at Comerica Park in the shortened season without fans.
“While our moves today are difficult, I also want to let you know that we continue planning for our future,” Granger said in an email. “We are preparing for when our venues will be able to safely welcome guests, we are aggressively booking events into the future, and we are continuing to strategically invest in our teams, including in player development, analytics, scouting, and sports science.”
This story will be updated.
Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Detroit Tigers content.