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Title track: 2
Fan relations: 23
Stadium experience: 10
Bang for the buck: 95
Change from last year: -18
Blackhawks down! Eight straight playoff berths, three Stanley Cups, a deep roster and one of the best coaches in sports would probably put Chitown higher if it weren't for the cost of actually watching all of that in action. The Blackhawks fall 18 spots to 35th overall, despite claiming top-10 ranks in five of our eight categories.
The Blackhawks are among sports' best in basically every on-ice component. Winning three Cups in seven years is enough to explain why the Hawks place second overall in title track, but the pieces around it also support that ranking. Coach Joel Quenneville and his 801 career coaching wins slide into the fourth overall ranking and a roster that includes Jonathan Toews' two-way play, Patrick Kane's 46 goals, two-time Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith, and Corey Crawford's sparkling .924 save percentage registers as seventh on our rankings -- both tops for NHL teams. A 2015 New York Times article even gives credit for the team's success to owner Rocky Wirtz, who ranks fourth overall, as well. And did we mention that the United Center is 10th overall in stadium experience, too? Not much to complain about in Chicago.
Well, sort of bad. The Blackhawks are a really, really good hockey team, but most fans will have to settle for watching them on television. An average Blackhawks ticket is almost $80, and the average cost of attending a game is $112 -- one of eight NHL teams north of $100. Yes, the team is good, and yes, Chicago is a big market, but that's expensive no matter how you spin it, giving the Hawks an affordability rank of 107. What's more? The Blackhawks announced in March that average season ticket prices will rise this season by 6 percent, making this the seventh straight year that the team has jacked up costs. But hey, at least you're paying to see wins, right?
The team's success is undeniable, but a first-round exit from the playoffs potentially hurt its bang for the buck. Chicago fell 31 spots in that category this season, to 95th overall. If the Blackhawks go back to doing Blackhawks things and make yet another deep playoff run, that ranking should jump right back up. No assurances can be made about those ticket prices, though.