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San Diego Chargers
Title track: T106
Fan relations: 109
Stadium experience: 122
Bang for the buck: 58
Change from last year: -15
It should be no surprise that the Chargers fell 15 spots in this year's standings. They missed the playoffs for the fourth time in the past five seasons, produced just one Pro Bowler (safety Eric Weddle) and were shut out in an embarrassing 37-0 loss to the Dolphins, their worst defeat since 1996. Oh, and fans never like to hear that their team could be bolting town -- especially when the next stop is a despised city just two hours north.
Even with fan relations (down from No. 95 to No. 109) and stadium experience (down from No. 120 to No. 122) at all-time lows, San Diego still sold more season tickets this year than it had since the 2008 season. Now, you could argue that spike was a product of a fan base in fear of losing its franchise. Or it might just be that the cost of an average Chargers ticket last year wasn't outrageous at $84.55, almost exactly the NFL average ($84.43). As for 2015, affordability rose two spots to No. 100, and season-ticket prices for nearly half of Qualcomm Stadium seats -- more than 30,000 -- dropped in price or remain unchanged, according to the team. That includes more than 9,000 seats that dropped to just $67 per game, which the team says is among the lowest prices in the NFL. (In 2014, the lowest average ticket price belonged to the Browns at $54.20.) And despite the aversion to ownership, fans remain behind a core group of players such as Weddle, quarterback Philip Rivers and wide receiver Malcom Floyd, who also remain loyal to the city. Before agreeing to a lucrative four-year contract extension in August, Rivers admitted he had some heartburn when considering the possibility of relocating his wife and seven kids from San Diego to Los Angeles.
More like terrible. Fans voted Qualcomm, one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL and in desperate need of an upgrade, as the worst experience in the four major sports. The Chargers received the lowest score in the NFL for offering promotions and/or giveaways, creating a fan-friendly stadium environment and creating avenues for fans to give feedback. Not surprisingly after team chairman Dean Spanos left the negotiating table on a potential deal to stay in San Diego, ownership ranks No. 120, behind only the Marlins and the A's. Instead, he partnered with the hated Raiders on a proposed $1.7 billion stadium project that would relocate the Chargers to Carson, California.
Apparently, fans aren't willing to give head coach Mike McCoy much of a leash. In our 2014 standings, San Diego's coaching ranked 56th following the Bolts' first trip to the playoffs in three seasons. (They won a wild-card game and lost in the divisional round in 2013.) Now, after last year's postseason miss, McCoy dropped nearly 20 spots. And just three games into his third season, McCoy was already hearing hot-seat talk from local pundits who were questioning his decision-making and play calling in a Week 2 24-19 loss in Cincinnati. Hence, title track plummeting 16 spots, to a tie for 106th.