Thursday, June 16, 2011

ESPN Ranks Lightning No. 2 Franchise in Sports

ESPN's annual Franchise Rankings pay big props to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the second-best franchise in all the major sports. The Green Bay Packers were No. 1.

The rankings take into account a number of factors, including front-office success, fan relations, and ownership's honesty/loyalty to players and fans. The Lighning notched outstanding ratings in those three categories. Even the team's worst rating, "Stadium Experience," was in the top 25 percent of franchises.

The Tampa Bay Rays were the 25th-ranked franchise of 122, thanks to excellent performance on-the-field and excellent affordability for fans. However, the Tropicana Field experience (111th) and ownership loyalty to player/community (86th) dragged it down.

The Tampa Bay Bucs, 59th of 122 teams, were middle-of-the-pack in most categories. They scored positive points for their recent championship, but were penalized for poor fan relations (104th).

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