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Added October 19th, 2015 by Ian

ESPN names Toronto Maple Leafs as worst North American sports franchise once again

ESPN began ranking professional sports franchises in North America’s top leagues back in 2008 and for the third time in the past four years the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs placed dead last. When it comes to the continent’s top football, baseball, basketball and hockey clubs, there’s nobody worse than the Leafs and event their most passionate fans would have a hard time arguing that fact. In fact, most of the hockey team’s fans weren’t even born the last time it won a Stanley Cup or even reached the cup final since way back in the 1966/67 season. The Last time the Leafs hoisted the silverware the NHL was just a six-team league. There are now 30 clubs.

A total of 122 clubs were tanked and the best-ever ranking the Leafs have ever achieved since 2008 has been 120th. In a nutshell, the Maple Leafs’ tickets cost too much, the team is a consistent loser and the in-game experience at the rink is simply boring. The factors that were taken into consideration when compiling the list were the franchises’ players, coaching, ownership, affordability, fan relations, title track, bang for the buck, and stadium experience. The Leafs were last in four of these categories with their best ranking being in coaching at number 38.

However, the Leafs had to spend $50 million this summer when they hired former Detroit Red Wing coach Mike Babcock to a ridiculous eight-year deal. To help pay for Babcock’s outrageous wages the Leafs charge the highest average ticket prices in the league as well as concessions such as beer, pop, water and hot dogs etc. Many Leafs fans could spend an all-inclusive week in the Caribbean for the same price of taking their families to a game and this trend isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

When it comes to providing sport fans with their money’s worth, the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs are ranked number one. The Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA are the runners up and third place belongs to the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL. Next we have the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks in fourth spot followed by the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers of the NFL. The NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder ranks seventh with Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks placing in eighth and ninth.

The top 10 is rounded out by the NHL’s Dallas Stars. The second-worst sports franchise is the NBA’s New York Knicks, but the Maple Leafs will likely keep their position again next year. In total, 25 different topics were discussed to compile the rankings and ESPN surveyed thousands of fans to get their opinions.

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