ESPN: Rays offer most "Bang for the Buck" among MLB teams, 2nd most affordable
The Rays offer the most "Bang for the Buck" among MLB's 30 teams, according to ESPN The Magazine.
Though ranking 7th among MLB teams and 25th overall among pro sports franchises in ESPN's ultimate standings, the Rays were ranked the second most affordable team in all sports (behind the Angels) and first overall for ticket pricing. (They were 9th for parking prices and 14th for concessions.)
The Rays have ranked in the top three in affordability for five consecutive years, including No. 1 in 2009.
Most of the rankings for the magazine's annual "Ultimate Standings" are based on fan opinion - a survey of fans and then an online poll, and weighted by importance. The Bang for the Buck category - defined as "Wins during the past three years (regular season plus postseason) per revenues directly from fans, adjusted for league schedules" - was calculated by the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center to determine "how efficiently teams convert dollars from fans to on-field wins (regular and postseason)."
The biggest negative for the Rays had to do with Tropicana Field, as they ranked 111th of the 122 teams in "stadium experience" and 28th among MLB teams, ahead of only the Marlins (who are moving to a new stadium next season) and the A's (who are actively pursuing one). The Rays were ranked 6th best in terms or promotions/giveaways and 47th in fan friendly environment, but 114th in actual stadium quality.
The Rays were 6th overall in the 2010 rankings, 16th in 2009, 75th in 2008, 86th in 2007, 85th in 2006, 73rd in 2005, 77th in 2004, 114th in 2003.
Here is how the Rays ranked among the 30 MLB teams and 122 overall franchises in each category, with definitions per ESPN:
Category MLB Overall
Bang for the Buck 1 5
Fan relations 14 51
Ownership 20 86
Affordability 2 2
Stadium experience 28 111
Players 14 44
Coaching 4 20
Title track 17 50
Bang for the Buck: Wins during the past three years (regular season plus postseason) per revenues directly from fans, adjusted for league schedules.
Fan relations: Openness and consideration toward fans by players, coaches and management.
Ownership: Honesty and loyalty to core players and local community.
Affordability: Price of tickets, parking and concessions.
Stadium experience: Quality of arena and game-day promotions as well as friendliness of environment.
Players: Effort on the field and likability off it.
Coaching: Strength of on-field leadership.
Title track: Championships already won or expected in the lifetime of current fans.