Nick Mileti (born 1931) was
during the 1970s the owner of the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Crusaders hockey team, the
Richfield and radio station 1100AM WWWE (now
He headed a syndicate that founded the Cavaliers in 1970 as an
, paying the fee of
$3.7 million, selling his twenty percent interest in the team in
1980 for $1.4 million. Another syndicate he headed purchased the
Indians in 1972 for $10 million from Vernon Stouffer
He was a master of leverage, owning 51 percent of his enterprises
with little of his own money at risk.He used brains, hard work,
contacts, and high energy to pull himself up from his working class
origins. He put himself through Bowling Green State
, where the Alumni Center is now named in his honor.
He was a
member of the Theta Chi fraternity at BGSU Following his time at
BGSU, he earned a law degree from Ohio State University. After military service he opened up a law
practice in Lakewood,
Ohio and became prosecutor there after befriending the
mayor. He became involved in sports after serving as
chairman of the Bowling Green alumni association and organizing a
BGSU game at the Cleveland
Shortly thereafter he purchased the Arena
and its prime tenant, the original Cleveland Barons
Recognizing that the Arena needed another tenant, he succeeded in
obtaining an NBA expansion team.
His partnership that purchased the Indians included Howard Metzenbaum
and Ted Bonda
, among many others. During 1973 when it
appeared to the Indians' bank creditors that Mileti had spread
himself too thin, Mileti named Bonda as the team's executive vice
president. Mileti sold his interest to Bonda et al. in 1975.
He also founded and was the principal owner of the short-lived CFL
team, the Las Vegas Posse in 1994.
- Torry, op.cit..
- Torry, op.cit..