COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets rank 31st out of 122 teams in the National Hockey League, National Football League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball according to ESPN The Magazine's 2009 Ultimate Standings, the club announced July 2. This year marks the highest overall rating for the Blue Jackets in the rankings, which began in 2002-03. Columbus ranked 52nd in the 2008 Ultimate Standings. The complete report is available in the current issue of ESPN The Magazine, which is available on newsstands Friday.
The report was the result of exclusive and original analysis by ESPN The Magazine and the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, combined with fan feedback data gathered by the consulting firm Maddock Douglas, ESPN.com and GMI NetReflector. More than 50,000 responses were collected. The analysis is used to determine how franchises establish and maintain the greatest overall reward for their fans.
The survey covered 21 topics, from "has strong leader as coach" to "players who act professionally on and off the field" to "provides avenue for fan feedback." Fans were then asked to rate their favorite clubs in these categories. The final categories that make up the rankings and the percentages attached to each are: Bang for the Buck (21.2 pct.), Fan Relations (20.1 pct.), Players (16.3 pct.), Affordability (12.3 pct.), Ownership (10.6 pct.), Stadium Experience (9.6 pct.), Title Track (5.3 pct.) and Coaching (4.3 pct.).
The Blue Jackets were the ninth-highest ranked NHL team in this year’s standings. The club's overall rankings in each category were the following: Fan Relations – 9th, Stadium Experience – 9th, Coaching – 9th, Affordability – 29th, Ownership – 31st, Players – 51st, Title Track (titles won or expected soon) – 73rd and Bang for the Buck – 64th.