It seems when it comes to pro sports, a major US broadcast outlet thinks Toronto is the at the bottom of the barrel!?
In its ninth Ultimate Standings rankings, ESPN gave Toronto the unfortunate designation of being among the worst North American city for professional sports teams .
Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke disagrees completely with ESPN’s pronouncement.
“I think it’s absurd. You’re talking about one of the great sports towns in the world and in my opinion no one complained about this as a sports market when the Blue Jays won two World Series titles and drew two or three million people a year.”
“Obviously the pro teams here, us included, need to do better to shed this kind of a label. But to talk about the marketplace as not being a great sports city, I mean, what does ESPN know about Canada anyway?”
The evaluation was based on how a city’s pro sports teams give back to fans “in exchange for all the time, money and emotion the fans invest in them.”
Fans voted in 21 categories, such as affordability, fan relations, bang for the buck and players.
The Argos and Toronto FC soccer team were not included in the ranking.
With a Stanley Cup drought lasting 44 years, the Toronto Maple Leafs have the dubious distinction of being named the worst team in the NHL. Fans gave the buds brutal scores in terms of bang for the buck, affordability and coaching.
The Raptors didn’t fare much better. They placed third-last in the NBA. Fans blasted the team’s coaching, players and title track. This is championships already won or expected in the lifetime of current fans.
Finally, the Toronto Blue Jays finished in fourth-last place in Major League Baseball. Fans criticized the stadium experience at Rogers Centre and said they weren’t getting much bang for their buck.
The Green Bay Packers were voted the best pro sports team overall, earning impressive scores for their stadium experience and the team’s title track. No surprise there – the Packers won the Super Bowl last year.
I know what I’D like to do with the folks at ESPN….what do YOU Think of their ranking system, and where T.O. is on the list?
Visit http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/teamrankings to get an in-depth look at the team rankings.