Sunday, September 9, 2012

Rays, Lightning Score Big in ESPN Rankings Again

In case you missed it, the Rays were once again named pro sports' most affordable team by ESPN.

In the annual "ESPN Ultimate Standings," the Rays ranked 16th overall out of 122 teams (fourth among MLB franchises). They got generally strong ratings across-the-board, but suffered from a poor "stadium experience" rating and lack of long-term success.

The Lightning ranked seventh overall (second in NHL), backed by top-10 performances is the "fan relations," "ownership," and "stadium experience" categories.

ESPN was more generous toward the Lightning than Businessweek was recently when it comes to how the Lightning spend its dollars. ESPN ranked the Bolts 27th in "Bang for the Buck," while Businessweek just ranked the team 76th. Businessweek ranked the Rays first.

The Buccaneers, meanwhile, ranked 97th overall, with the Miami Dolphins Florida's only franchise to fare worse (110th). The Bucs' 2002 title was the only factor preventing the team from suffering below-average ratings in each of ESPN's eight categories, including "stadium experience" and "affordability."

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