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Grizzlies ranked No. 9 in North America

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

MEMPHIS - June 15, 2011 The Memphis Grizzlies finished No. 9 overall in ESPN The Magazine’s recently-released ninth annual Ultimate Standings, a composite ranking of all 122 teams in the four major professional sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL) in North America.

“The strength of the relationship between Grizzlies fans and the organization helped the entire city of Memphis believe, and for this bond to be recognized by ESPN the Magazine is truly special for us,” said Greg Campbell, Grizzlies President of Business Operations. “Our commitment to providing our MVP Season Ticket Holders and all of our other fans with the best value in all of sports is at the core of what we do, and we will strive to continue to give back to our fans as much as they give to us.”

The overall ranking is based on how much the organization gives back to fans for the time, money and emotion invested in its product, determined by eight categories – bang for the buck, players, fan relations, affordability, stadium experience, ownership, title track and coaching.

Memphis was ranked No. 1 overall in the “bang for the buck” category, gauged by wins over the past two seasons per dollar contributed directly by fans (adjusted for differences in league schedules).

Among NBA teams, the Grizzlies trailed only the San Antonio Spurs (No. 5) and Oklahoma City Thunder (No. 6).

The Grizzlies, the second-highest jumper on the overall list this year, clawed 66 spots higher than last season’s edition, trailing only the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, which moved from the No. 70 spot to the No. 2 position as the highest chart-climber in the Ultimate Standings.

Additionally, Memphis was rated the hottest team in sports in a separate survey by ESPN The Magazine, asking fans to rate recent changes in their commitment to their favorite team.

Grizzlies fans are invited to see how much bang for their buck they can get and test drive available seat locations at a Free Open House from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 at FedExForum.

The Grizzlies will look to follow-up their historic 10th Season in Memphis with Season Tickets starting at just $10 per game for an entire season’s worth of grit, grind and great matchups. Free parking will be available in the Toyota Parking Garage. The first 200 fans in attendance will receive a free Grizzlies Headband and from noon-1 p.m. will have the chance to meet a Grizzlies player.

ESPN the Magazine Ultimate Standings top 15 franchises 2010-11
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Tampa Bay Lightning
3. New Orleans Saints
4. Los Angeles Angels
5. San Antonio Spurs
6. Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Pittsburgh Steelers
8. Colorado Rockies
9. Memphis Grizzlies
10. Pittsburgh Penguins
11. Buffalo Sabres
12. Texas Rangers
13. San Jose Sharks
14. Indianapolis Colts
15. Cincinnati Reds