This story is part of ESPN The Magazine's September 29 Fansourced Issue. Subscribe today!
Last year's ranking: 11
Title track: 55
Fan relations: 39
Stadium experience: 31
Bang for the buck: 20
A new offering at Great American Ballpark is The Bacon, a sandwich filled with a one-pound slab of the cured meat topped with shredded lettuce, tomato and black-pepper mayo. Eat four of those sandwiches (plus the fixin's) in one inning and win a T-shirt and your money back (a cool $60).
Cincinnati fans, however, don't seem to think their team has brought home the bacon quite as well. Even with playoff appearances in three of the past four seasons, the Reds took an unexpected 50-place fall in our players category, in part because of the current failure of first baseman Joey Votto to live up to a mammoth 10-year, $225 million contract signed in April 2012. The 2010 NL Most Valuable Player had just six homers before landing on the disabled list in early July. His home at-bats have been accompanied by a smattering of boos, and his production sparks steady debate on fan blogs.
Although the Reds dropped 17 points to No. 28 in our overall standings, they finished in the top 30 for the fourth straight year. Great American Ballpark continues to get strong reviews for stadium experience, affordability and bang for the buck. An average ticket price of $22.03 is a full six bucks below the major league average, and a 12-ounce soda and a hot dog can still be found for a mere $1 (lowest in the majors). A new "April Pass" enabled fans to attend all home games in the season's first month for just $60, and thanks to promotions like that one, the Reds are on pace to average more than 30,000 fans per game in back-to-back seasons for the first time in two decades. The fans may be demanding, but they sure aren't fickle.