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Here's the deal: ESPN's SportsNation asked over 80,000 fans who their favourite team was, and how that respective franchise paid them back for all their support. Four organizations were included in the ratings: The MLB, NFL, NBA and the NHL.

Teams were given an ultimate rating, as well as a ranking in the following categories:

BNG (Bang for the Buck): Revenues directly from fans divided by wins in the past three years

FRL (Fan Relations): Ease of access to players, coaches & management

OWN (Ownership): Honesty; loyalty to players and city

AFF (Affordability): Price of tickets, parking and concessions

STD (Stadium Experience): Friendliness of environment; quality of game-day promotions

PLA (Players): Effort on the field; likability off it

CCH (Coach/Manager): Strong on-field leadership

TTR (Title Track): Titles already won or expected -- soon

And here's the formula ESPN used to obtain the ratings:

We created the Ultimate Standings in five steps.

First, Markitecture, a Norwalk, Conn., marketing consulting firm, conducted a poll of 1,000 fans across North America to determine what they want most in return for their emotional and financial investment in their favorite teams. The survey covered 21 topics, from "has strong leader as coach" to "provides avenues for fan feedback."

Second, through ESPN.com, we asked fans of MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL teams to rate their clubs in these 21 categories. We gathered more than 80,000 responses.

Third, we grouped those responses into seven categories.

Fourth, for an eighth category, Bang for the Buck, we examined how efficiently teams convert dollars from fans into on-field wins (regular and postseason). Fan costs were determined by researchers at the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon.

Fifth, we combined each team¹s scores (not its rankings) across all eight categories into one final, weighted score, taking into account, for example, that fans rated Affordability as about 50% more important than Stadium Experience.

The result: a ranking that combines the fan perspective with an objective measure of how well teams turn fan dollars into wins.

Got it? Good. Want to know how the Senators did? (The rating is out of 122 teams, and remember to consult the table and link above for more details.)

Ottawa Senators

Overall Rating: 34

Bang For The Buck: 30

Fan Relations: 31

Ownership: 36

Affordability: 53 (where will this number be after the 4.5% increase next season?)

Stadium Experience: 59 (this number is far higher than I expected)

Players (effort and likability): 62

Coach: 68

Title Track (won or imminent championships): 59

Other teams of interest:

Toronto Maple Leafs

Overall Rating: 99

Bang For The Buck: 74

Fan Relations: 80

Ownership: 67

Affordability: 122 (that's right -- dead last out of all four sports)

Stadium Experience: 78

Players (effort and likability): 80

Coach: 53

Title Track (won or imminent championships): 111 (a lot less parade planners than anticipated)

Montreal Canadiens

Overall Rating: 70

Bang For The Buck: 105

Fan Relations: 55

Ownership: 22

Affordability: 83

Stadium Experience: 45

Players (effort and likability): 97 (ouch)

Coach: 47

Title Track (won or imminent championships): 37

Calgary Flames

Overall Rating: 38

Bang For The Buck: 61

Fan Relations: 25

Ownership: 23

Affordability: 51

Stadium Experience: 76

Players (effort and likability): 52

Coach: 67

Title Track (won or imminent championships): 46

Edmonton Oilers

Overall Rating: 46

Bang For The Buck: 65

Fan Relations: 29

Ownership: 42

Affordability: 48

Stadium Experience: 94

Players (effort and likability): 54

Coach: 54

Title Track (won or imminent championships): 44

Vancouver Canucks

Overall Rating: 74

Bang For The Buck: 103

Fan Relations: 48

Ownership: 38

Affordability: 112

Stadium Experience: 61

Players (effort and likability): 66

Coach: 58

Title Track (won or imminent championships): 78

Toronto Raptors

Overall Rating: 45

Bang For The Buck: 75

Fan Relations: 28

Ownership: 55

Affordability: 69

Stadium Experience: 47

Players (effort and likability): 19

Coach: 65

Title Track (won or imminent championships): 69

Toronto Blue Jays

Overall Rating: 41

Bang For The Buck: 93

Fan Relations: 40

Ownership: 31

Affordability: 11

Stadium Experience: 88

Players (effort and likability): 41

Coach: 77

Title Track (won or imminent championships): 31

Other miscellaneous notes...

- There are seven NHL teams in the top 20: Anaheim (6th), Nashville (8th), Carolina (10th), Tampa Bay (17th), Detroit (18th), Dallas (20th) and...Buffalo (1st). That's right -- the Sabres placed first out of 122 franchises. Check out this accompanying piece detailing how the Sabres turned Buffalo into a land filled with hearts, rainbows and arrogant, brutish fans (okay, I added that last bit).

- Carolina fans must be confident in their ability to build a dynasty (or similar): They placed first in the Title Track category;

- The Dallas Mavericks placed first in the player and coach category;

- The Minnesota Wild came in first in the stadium category (I'll second that one -- fantastic building and good promos);

- No big surprise -- Penguins fans rated their stadium experience 117th.

If you want to see the entire list with all included rankings, check this link out.