Redskins rank at bottom of barrel in fan value

Can't get no satisfaction
No D.C. team made the top 20 in fan satisfaction:

Overall rank Rank: Bank for buck Rank: Fan relations Rank: Rank Ownership Rank: Affordability Rank: Stadium experience Rank: Players Rank: Rank Coaching
Capitals 27 50 17 46 43 17 17 25 61
Nationals 78 87 73 73 44 66 75 83 91
Wizards 110 89 117 68 73 103 117 106 104
Redskins 121 112 121 112 121 112 118 74 62
Source: ESPN the Magazine
The Washington Redskins have fallen to nearly dead last in an annual rankings system that measures fans' return for their money and loyalty, evidence that fan dissatisfaction is beginning to trump the team's storied tradition.

The rating, released by ESPN The Magazine, comes despite Forbes' rating of the Redskins as the second-most financially valuable team in football and in the top 10 of all major leagues. But experts say the team's worsening relationship with its fans will start taking a financial toll.

"The danger a sports brand has is, if they continually disappoint, they can't deliver that emotional connection the fan is looking for," said Susan Goodell, vice president of the Warschawski communications firm in Baltimore.

Best and worst teams in fan value
1 Green Bay Packers (NFL)
2 Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)
3 New Orleans Saints (NFL)
4 Los Angeles Angels (MLB)
5 San Antonio Spurs (NBA)
6 Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA)
7 Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL)
8 Colorado Rockies (MLB)
9 Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)
10 Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
118 Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA)
119 Sacramento Kings (NBA)
120 Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
121 Washington Redskins (NFL)
122 Cincinnati Bengals (NFL)

Factors that determined a team's rating included fan dollars spent per win over three years, openness of players and management, affordability, and stadium experience. The Redskins ranked 121st of 122 teams in major league football, baseball, basketball and hockey, ahead of only the Cincinnati Bengals. The team ranked 105th last year.

Goodell, who is not related to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, said consumers will ditch most commercial products after a few bad experiences, but sports teams have more leeway when it comes to fan heartbreak.

However, it's been nearly 20 years since Washington won a championship. The team has made it to the post-season three times since Daniel Snyder bought the team in 1999, never winning more than one playoff game.

David Winkler, whose family has held season tickets since 1966, said this year is the first season he's considering selling off a few seats for the year. Winkler holds eight season tickets.

"I'm still going to go to all the games, but my wife no longer goes," he said. "It's not that pleasurable of an experience anymore."

Disgruntled fans can burn a brand's image, hurting revenue from sponsors, television networks and ticket sales -- the bread and butter of a team's value, Goodell said.

And while the Redskins can still boast "sold out" games, some fans simply don't show up anymore or sell their tickets. In a transient city like Washington, that can lead to hordes of opposing fans buying seats from disenchanted season ticket holders.

Winkler said the high number of visiting fans at FedEx Field can sometimes be embarrassing.

"When their team has the ball and they're louder than our fans, that's really sad," he said.