ESPN The Magazine Ranks Thunder Best Franchise In Sports

Thursday, September 6th 2012, 8:43 pm
By: News 9

ESPN The Magazine has ranked the Oklahoma City Thunder the number one franchise in American professional sports.   

Each year, ESPN The Magazine releases its "Ultimate Standings" article, ranking the 122 professional franchises from the four major American sports leagues.  Rankings are based off a number of categories, including players, coaching, affordability, ownership, fan relations and more. 

OKC ranked second in the Fan Relations category, second in Players, fifth in Affordability, seventh in the Bang-for-Buck category and eighth in Ownership.  The Thunder ranked a surprisingly-low 16th in Stadium Experience, a ranking many Thunder fans would beg to dispute.  Curiously beating OKC in Stadium Experience were the likes of the Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers and Indiana Pacers, teams that find sellouts very hard to come by.   

The Thunder beat out the NFL's Green Bay Packers for the top spot.  Green Bay finished No. 1 in 2011.   

The Miami Heat, OKC's 2012 NBA Finals opponent, finished 30 spots behind the Thunder at 31, while their fellow Western Conference power the Los Angeles Lakers finished all the way at 89, mainly for the high cost of attending games.     

Oklahoma City has made a steady and impressive climb to the number one spot.  After ranking 57 in 2009, OKC jumped to 25 in 2010 and then sixth last year.