Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Fans rate Pistons Number 2 in Sports

Sure, Detroiters are proud of their NBA team. The Pistons' awesome 28-win run this season has garnered plenty of media attention around the Motor City, and everyone from little Johnny to Grandma will get out their Piston gear come playoff time.

For an insider's look at everything Pistons, check out some of the great weblogs on the team written by die-hard Detroit fans: Detroit Bad Boys, Detroit Pistons Journal and Need4Sheed.

The love Pistons fans have for their pro basketball team runs deeper than playoff time and game winners, though, and nothing illustrates that point better than ESPN's recent Ultimate Standings survey. Fans are so appreciative and proud of the Detroit Pistons that the team was just ranked as the number two sports team among all of the teams in the NFL, NBA and MLB.

This year's ESPN Ultimate Standings survey, which is in its 4th year, ranked the Pistons and the other 91 pro teams in the NBA, NFL and MLB based on the online votes of 30,000 fans from across the country. (The NHL was not included in this year's poll due to the lockout).

Essentially a fan satisfaction survey, team rankings in Ultimate Standings are based on fan reviews in seven categories: Fan Relations - access to players; Ownership - honesty, player loyalty to team and city; Affordability - price of tickets, parking and concessions; Stadium Experience - pleasant arena environment and game-day promotions; Players - performance on the court and congeniality off of it; Coach/Manager - on-court leadership; Championships - won or expected in the near future.

The eighth category, "Bang for the Buck" was based on wins during the past three years divided by revenue obtained directly from fans. This figure was calculated by the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center for all of the teams.

The Detroit Pistons have made great strides in the past five seasons. In the 2000-2001 season, the Pistons were just 32-50. The following year, the team had a miraculous recovery and reversed its regular season standings to end the year 50-32.

They duplicated that record the following year, and, in the 2003-2004 regular season, Detroit's NBA team was 54-28 and went on to win the NBA championship.

Last year, they went 54-28. They lost the championship four games to three to the San Antonio Spurs.

Tomorrow Detroit's NBA team celebrates its
100th-straight sell-out game at The Palace, where they will host the Seattle Sonics.

To show appreciation to fans, the team will give out 100 Domino's pizzas and drop 100 parachutes into the stands. In an
online contest, the Pistons will select 100 winners for various prizes, including one Grand Prize package that includes every giveaway item from the 2005-06 regular season.

This is the fourth consecutive season that the Detroit Pistons have led the league in attendance. It is the third time they have ranked in the top 5 in ESPN's Ultimate Standings survey. They were number one in 2005 and number four in 2004.

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