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Sunday, September 15, 2013
Updated: September 23, 12:12 PM ET
No. 64: Kansas City Royals

By Anthony Olivieri
ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 75
Title track: 94
Ownership: 103
Coaching: 103
Players: 62
Fan relations: 77
Affordability: 20
Stadium experience: 25
Bang for the buck: 42

So you want a nice night out at the ballpark with the kids but can barely afford the gas to get there? Then the Royals' Kauffman Stadium is for you. It's inexpensive: An average ticket costs $19.83, almost $8.00 below the MLB average (and almost half the price of parking at Yankee Stadium). And don't forget buck night, when hot dogs, peanuts and sodas are just a dollar. But what if your kids hate baseball? Well, Kauffman is also picturesque. Its vistas and famous fountains were spruced up by a $250 million renovation completed in 2009. The only problem arises if you actually like baseball. The Royals haven't made the playoffs since winning the 1985 World Series, marking the longest playoff drought in all of sports. It shows in our rankings directly tied to winning (title track, ownership, coaching), none of which rank better than 94th. In fact, title hopes have regressed 19 spots since 2011, when supposed Royals savior Eric Hosmer -- the third overall pick in the 2008 draft -- made his major league debut. Hosmer and fellow wunderkind Mike Moustakas haven't exactly set the American League on fire, but there are signs of hope: K.C. did spend a short-lived stint in first place (okay, it was in April) and it remains just two games out of the top wild card as of Sept. 12. And if your family fails to catch Royals fever, well, there's always T-shirt Tuesdays.