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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Updated: September 23, 12:30 PM ET
No. 47: Phoenix Coyotes

By Hallie Grossman
ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 6
Title track: 101
Ownership: 115
Coaching: 28
Players: 40
Fan relations: 67
Affordability: 7
Stadium Experience 66
Bang for the Buck 16

Seattle puckheads can keep on howling: The Coyotes aren't going anywhere. After a four-year soap opera in which the team's former owners filed for bankruptcy, the league took over operations and a revolving door of potential buyers came and went, the Coyotes flirted with relocation. Then they received an eleventh-hour reprieve in July, thanks to Canadians (and new owners) George Gosbee, Anthony LeBlanc and the IceArizona ownership group. "It's closure on one era of the franchise and a great new beginning with new ownership, and hopefully a long future with Arizona," said head coach Dave Tippett.

Fans in Phoenix will, no doubt, feel the same -- a sea change that should help neutralize what has long been the team's Achilles' heel. (Since 2009, Phoenix hasn't cleared the top 100 in the ownership category. This year, they're at 115, the NHL's bottom-dwellers.)

Front-office woes aside, the franchise's outlook is decidedly less bleak on the ice and in the stands. The average ticket in Phoenix runs fans only about $40 (just about 34 percent less than the NHL norm) and game-goers in the Valley enjoy the cheapest overall arena experience at just $57.32 a pop. And while the team stumbled through last year's abbreviated campaign, missing the playoffs for the first time under Tippett's stewardship, they hauled in scoring center Mike Ribeiro in the offseason -- a key addition to a club that was a lowly 21st in goals tallied last season. Turns out the city that nearly lost its team might just regain a playoff contender next season.