Co-owner, United Center; chairman, Chicago Blackhawks; cochairman, Breakthru Beverage
Whispers of the D-word—“dynasty”—began in 2013 after Wirtz’s Chicago Blackhawks won their second Stanley Cup in three years. When they hoisted their third last year, those whispers became a chorus. Winning the Big One with any sports franchise confers power—and produces big profits. Thanks to their Cup runs, the Hawks are now the fourth most valuable National Hockey League team, worth $925 million, according to Forbes. The team has sold out every game since 2008 and has the fourth-highest local cable TV ratings. Its merch is hotter than a Patrick Kane slap shot. (Just go to a sports bar on any game night.) Off the ice, Wirtz’s real power play came in October when he merged his $2.5 billion alcohol-distribution business with a larger New York liquor firm to create a $6 billion behemoth, the nation’s second-largest wine and liquor distributor. Add in a seat on the NHL’s executive committee and his too-many-to-count civic and philanthropic ventures, and Wirtz sits front and center in any power team picture.
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