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Last year's rank: 23
Title track: 42
Fan relations: 54
Stadium experience: 79
Bang for the buck: 14
Until this season, the Braves' performance in our Ultimate Standings reflected their performance on the field. A franchise that has captured 15 division titles over the past quarter of a century finished no lower than 27th in our overall poll each of the past nine years. But last fall's announcement that the team will relocate from the city of Atlanta to the Cobb County suburbs after the 2017 season rubbed many Braves fans the wrong way. "Rooting for the Cobb Braves just isn't the same," tweeted Braves fan @Phil_the_Bucket. It's even worse if you're one of the Cobb County taxpayers coughing up more than $300 million to build the new park.
Even Braves fans who liked the idea were not fond of the clandestine nature of the negotiations. ("If it had leaked out, this deal would not have gotten done," admitted team president John Schuerholz.) As a result, the Braves dropped to 80th in ownership, going down 39 points and dragging their overall mark down to 45th, the lowest since our rankings debuted in 2003. That's not to say Peach State baseball fans are totally enamored with the current home. Turner Field saw its stadium experience drop 33 points to 79th, also a franchise low.
The Braves remain in the top half of the standings because they continue to offer a quality product at a reasonable price. The average ticket price of $18.53 is the fourth lowest in baseball, leading to a solid 14th bang for the buck rating. As for the grub at Turner Field, this year saw the introduction of Frozen Pints, craft beer ice cream available for purchase only by those 21 and over. If nothing else, it's a unique way to toast a few more years of baseball in downtown Atlanta.