Chicago Blackhawks Billionaire Owner Rocky Wirtz Dies at 70
Chicago, IL – The billionaire owner and chairman of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, Rocky Wirtz, has died at the age of 70, the team announced today. Wirtz, who also served as president of his family’s Wirtz Corporation, passed away on 25 July, 2023 leaving Blackhawks fans, players, and executives in mourning. The cause of death has not yet been disclosed.
As owner of one of the NHL’s Original Six hockey franchises, Wirtz was instrumental in revitalizing the team, leading them to three Stanley Cup Championships in 2010, 2013, and 2015. His transformative leadership and commitment to building a winning culture made him a beloved figure in Chicago sports.
“Rocky’s passion for the Blackhawks, his players, his hometown fans and the game of hockey itself knew no bounds,” said Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz, Rocky’s son. “Today I have lost a great Father & a great mentor, and this is a very sad day for our entire organization.”
Born in Chicago in 5th October 1952, Wirtz spent his career expanding his family’s business empire while simultaneously rejuvenating his hometown’s struggling hockey club. He officially took over the franchise following his father’s death in 2007.
Under Wirtz’s guidance, the Blackhawks became a model NHL franchise, selling out home games and dramatically increasing television viewership. Wirtz invested heavily in marketing and player personnel, assembling championship-caliber rosters.
In addition to his hockey legacy, Wirtz led his family’s food and beverage distribution business. As president of Wirtz Corporation, he oversaw a diversified portfolio spanning real estate, insurance, banking and more.
The NHL and its fans have lost one of hockey’s most influential owners and ambassadors. The legacy of Rocky Wirtz will forever be intertwined with the new golden era of Chicago Blackhawks history. He is survived by his wife and five children.