There is no better time to be a Memphis Grizzlies fan than now. ESPN The Magazine has just released the cover of its annual Franchise Issue, to be on sale on Friday, and the Grizzlies are named the best franchise in pro sports for 2013.
The Memphis Grizzlies have been named the top pro sports franchise for 2013 by ESPN The Magazine.
The teams ranked come from the "big four" pro sports leagues: the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB. Teams are given points for certain criteria, such as ownership, fan relations, venue atmosphere, and ticket prices.
While the Grizzlies have been ascending to the upper echelons of the NBA, their ESPN pro franchise rankings have also been skyrocketing. From 75th in 2010, it made a huge leap to 9th in 2011 and improved further to 5th in 2012. The Grizzlies' 56-win 2012-2013 season, where they made the Western Conference final, was a franchise record, and they have made the playoffs in the past three seasons.
— ESPN The Magazine (@ESPNMag) September 17, 2013
ESPN also commended the Grizzlies for giving its patrons value for their money despite their lofty position in the West.
Jon Greenberg of FanCostExperience.com conducted a study on ticket prices in 2012. The Grizzlies had an average ticket price of $29.49, good for second lowest. In contrast, the New York Knicks, located in what is probably the most expensive city in the Western Hemisphere, charged an average of $123.22 for a ticket.
The worst team in pro sports, though, is another NBA team: the Sacramento Kings. The Kings have been embroiled in controversy after their erstwhile majority owners, the Maloof family, revealed that they were considering moving the team to places as diverse as Anaheim, Seattle, and Virginia Beach. In 2013, the Maloofs ended up selling the team to a consortium led by Indian businessman Vivek Ranadive.
The Grizzlies' shiny new #1 ranking should come as no surprise to businessman Robert Pera, who bought the franchise in October 2012 for roughly $350 million.
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