The Nashville Predators have placed 14th among all 122 North American major league sports teams in ESPN's latest edition of their Ultimate Standings, which ranks franchises based categories such as on-field performance, ownership stability, fan relations, and other factors.
This puts them fourth among NHL teams on the list, trailing Phoenix, Tampa Bay, and New Jersey, and represents a climb up from 18th spot last summer. The Preds' strongest areas was Affordability (7th overall), while their weakest was "Title Track", a measure of championships either recently won or reasonably expected soon (61st). Here's a comparison of this year's vs. last year's rankings:
|Year||Rank (of 122)||Bang for the Buck||Fan Relations||Ownership||Affordability||Stadium Experience||Players||Coaching||Title Track|
The interesting bit to me is the drop in the Fan Relations ranking. Has there been a difference in service level that you've seen as a Preds fan, or might this instead mean that other franchises are picking up on what teams like the Predators are doing?
Either way, the continued climb upwards should be considered a validation that Nashville is indeed making progress towards their oft-stated goal of providing the top sports & entertainment venue in the world, centered around a championship hockey team.
Locally, the NFL's Tennessee Titans ranked 72nd, a healthy climb from their #98 ranking of 2011.