Last year's rank: 30
Title track: 5
Fan relations: 5
Stadium Experience 59
Bang for the Buck 32
The last time Detroit spent a spring without the playoffs, a Bush was in the White House. And we're not talking about W. The Red Wings, owners of the longest active playoff streak in professional sports, secured their 22nd straight postseason berth in the 2012-13 regular-season finale. So it's no shocker that Detroit, once again, cracks the top 10 in title track. (The Red Wings have never fallen below No. 7*.) Breaking news: Fans of the Red Wings, the NHL's model of consistency, continue to be happy with their on-ice product. The Wings ranked first and second among hockey teams for ownership and coaching, respectively. Not to mention that fans like the players. A lot (Detroit was tops in the NHL). "The Red Wings were fantastic -- outplaying their talent threshold all playoffs and creating some really exciting playoff hockey in the process... Thank you, Red Wings, for playing the unlikely underdog role so beautifully," wrote Motor City blogger Bob Biscigliano, after the team's Game 7 loss to the Blackhawks.
Detroit fans will be pleased to see a familiar face come next season -- center Pavel Datsyuk signed a three-year extension -- plus a few unfamiliar ones as well. The Red Wings wasted no time in free agency, reeling in center Stephen Weiss and longtime Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson, two potential impact signings. All that to say Detroit's playoff streak, along with its place in the fans' good graces, seems safe for yet another spring.
*This does not include 2005 and 2006, when hockey was not included in the Ultimate Standings due to the lockout.