For the 5th consecutive year, ESPN.com's SportsNation has ranked every sports franchise in every major sport based on survey results by it's fans. Ratings include --
Bang for the Buck(BNG): Revenues directly from fans divided by wins in the past three years.
Fan Relations(FRL): Ease of access to players, coaches & management.
Ownership(OWN): Honesty; loyalty to players and city.
Affordability(AFF): Price of tickets, parking and concessions.
Stadium Experience(STD): Friendliness of environment; quality of game-day promotions.
Players(PLA): Effort on the field; likability off it.
Coach/Manager(CCH): Strong on-field leadership.
Title Track(TTR): Titles already won or expected -- soon.
Overall, the Broncos finsihed 24th out of 122 total franchises. Within just the NFL, the Broncos were 5th. Both totals were the highest of any team in the AFC West, with San Diego #59, Kansas City #66 and Oakland #121, who finisihed ahead of only Detroit, the worst franchise in all of sports.
Here is the breakdown of how the Broncos fared in each of the categories, out of 122 franchises included --
BNG -- 31
FRL -- 37
OWN -- 10
AFF -- 60
STD -- 28
PLA -- 31
CCH -- 15
TTR -- 12
The Broncos best score was for Ownership, which is no surprise given Pat Bowlen's perceived stance of going for a title every year. He has given Mike Shanahan and the rest of the football staff the stability to be able to make moves and take chances, something that is becoming more and more rare in today's NFL. The Steelers ranked highest in the NFL in OWN, at #3 overall.
As for Affordability, the fans were not as impressed. Ranking only middle of the pack when fans considered the price of tickets, parking and concessions. Maybe, the two go hand in hand. If Bowlen is willing to spend the money, then I am willing to buy tickets to go see the team play. It wouold worry me more if the tickets, etc. were very expensive and ownership chose to put the money in their pockets. Buffalo ranked highest in the league by far, coming in at #6 in the AFF category.
Overall the Colts were the high team in the NFL, finishing 4th overall, including Top-5 finishes in 4 categories, though the chasm they play in only ranked 86th in all of sports.
Surprisingly, the franchise to rank highest of any sport was a hockey team, the Buffalo Sabres, who not surprisingly have one of the best records in the NHL. The Sabres do have a special relationship with it's fans, with fans actually volunteering to pay the fine of Head Coach Lindy Ruff after a huge brew-ha-ha earlier this year.
Historically, the Broncos have finsihed no lower than 32nd, in 2003. Here are the numbers for each year the rakings have been released --
2003 -- #32
2004 -- #19
2005 -- #26
2006 -- #14
2007 -- #24