Packers Up To 9 In Fan Standings

ESPN The Magazine's "Ultimate Standings" hails the Packers' stadium experience, ownership, fan relations, affordability and cheese curds.

The Green Bay Packers check in at No. 9 in ESPN The Magazine's eighth annual "Ultimate Standings."

Fans from all 122 major professional sports teams gave their feedback on eight categories among other criteria. Green Bay, which ranked 13th last year, checks in behind Super Bowl champion New Orleans (No. 1 overall) and Super Bowl runner-up Indianapolis (No. 4) among NFL teams.

"We've just about run out of things to say about Lambeau," Jason Catania writes. "Sure, the two-year reign atop our Stadium Experience ranking may have come to an end (No. 2 is nothing to sneeze at, people), but fans still adore Curly's Pub (named for Curly Lambeau), which offers homemade cheese curds, servers trained in Packers history (no easy task!) and an interactive game zone. They also appreciate the Green Team initiative, a recent program that focuses on using renewable resources — including electricity from wind and biogas sources — to help power Lambeau. Another Fan Relations-friendly effort (the club cracks the top 10 in the category this year) is the Campbell's Chunky soup "Click for Cans" initiative, an online food drive contest that awards 18,000 cans of soup for local hunger relief; Green Bay has won eight years running — good for over 116,000 cans. Not to be outdone, Aaron Rodgers' first Pro Bowl selection translated into support for his teammates with the NFL's third-best player ratings. Add on tickets ($63.39) priced more than $10 below league average (11th in Affordability), and Green Bay's fans had plenty of reasons to pat the owners (a.k.a., themselves) on the back with a 21-spot improvement. Now if they could just drum up some more faith in Mike McCarthy."

The Packers ranked second in Stadium Experience, eighth in Ownership, 10th in Fan Relations, 11th in Affordability, 12th in Players, 16th in Title Track, 40th in Bang for the Buck and 52nd in Coaching.

The top 10 franchises, from one to 10: New Orleans Saints, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Angels, Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Rays, San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Red Wings, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Cavaliers.

The bottom 10, from 113 to 122: Toronto Raptors, St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Washington Wizards, Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Clippers.

For Wisconsin sports fans, the Milwaukee Brewers are No. 31 and the Milwaukee Bucks are No. 69.

The magazine hits newsstands on Friday.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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