For the ninth year in a row ESPN The Magazine is compiling its ultimate franchise ranking, which takes every team in the four major North American sports and ranks them based on a number of categories including ownership, bang for the buck, how affordable it is to attend a game, title track, coaching and fan relations. The 2011 issue is set to hit newsstands on Friday, but word is already getting out as to which teams are at the top of the list. Your Pittsburgh Steelers come in at No. 7 (out of 122), trailing only the Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Lightning (!?), New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Penguins show up in the No. 10 spot making Pittsburgh the only city with two franchises in the top 10, which is nice. It’s also the second time in the past four years that’s happened as the Steelers and Penguins finished No. 3 and 8 respectively in 2009.
Since ESPN started doing these rankings in 2003 the Steelers have finished 7th (2011), 28th (2010), 3rd (2009), 25th (2008), 9th (2007), 3rd (2006), 9th (2005), 16th (2004), and 15th (2003).
Which team was ranked as the worst franchise in sports? The Cincinnati Bengals, of course.