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SPOTLIGHT: Mike Ilitch School of Business’s First-ever Sport and Entertainment Management Program

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The new, state-of-the-art Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University is nearing completion and will welcome its first students this spring. This year also marked the introduction of a new concentration: Sport and Entertainment Management. The new concentration was first announced in conjunction with Mike and Marian Ilitch’s $40 million gift – one of the top five ever to a public university business school – for the School’s new building.   

Helmed by returning Michigander Scott Tainsky, PhD, the program is the first of its kind at the university. The recently launched MBA concentration offers a wide range of new classes covering management, leadership, marketing, sales, finance, economics, event operations and more, all focused specifically on the sport and entertainment industry. Tainsky joined Wayne State from the University of Illinois, where he had been a professor since 2008. He holds a doctorate degree in sport management from the University of Michigan and is a widely published expert in the field.

“The Ilitch organization’s vision for The District Detroit – under the leadership of President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings Christopher Ilitch – is one that is unrivaled in the country and it is that vision that brought all four major local sports teams to the center of the city, less than half a mile from one another,” Tainsky said. “Detroit is now the densest sports city in America and Mike and Marian’s gift to Wayne State University made it possible for students who are passionate about the fields of sport and entertainment to learn just steps away from both new and longstanding landmarks like Little Caesars Arena, the Fox Theatre, the Fillmore Detroit, Ford Field and Comerica Park. These students have unprecedented access, access that is invaluable.”

The Mike Ilitch School of Business works in partnership with the Ilitch organization to place participating students in internships at the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Olympia Entertainment and the newly launched joint venture, 313 Presents. Tainsky hopes to grow the number of available internships in the coming school year and will roll out a sport and entertainment cohort – in addition to the current concentration offering – in the fall 2018 semester.

About The District Detroit

The District Detroit is one of the largest sports and entertainment developments in the country. Located in the heart of Detroit, this 50-block, mixed-use development led by the Ilitch organization unites eight world-class theaters, five neighborhoods and three professional sports venues in one vibrant, walkable destination for people who want to live, work and play in an exciting urban environment. Home to the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons and Detroit Lions - The District Detroit represents the greatest density of professional sports teams in one downtown core in the country.

Current data from the University of Michigan demonstrates that The District Detroit will account for an economic impact of more than $2 billion by 2020 and create more than 20,000 construction and construction-related jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs.

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