Here is the official word from the Orlando Magic:
ESPN The Magazine Ultimate Standings Ranks Amway Center Tops in NBA
ORLANDO – When it opened last October, Orlando’s Amway Center was widely hailed as the finest arena not only in the NBA, but in all of North America. And largely because of the dazzling new facility – not to mention the game-day promotions and friendly, accessible environment – the Orlando Magic’s overall stadium experience was lauded recently by ESPN The Magazine.
ESPN’s ninth annual Ultimate Standings ranked the Magic’s stadium experience the best in the NBA and fifth overall among all teams from the NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA. The Magic beat out Portland, Memphis, Chicago, San Antonio and Dallas for top honors in the NBA. They trailed only the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco Giants, Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Penguins in overall stadium experience among all professional teams.
The Magic continued to score well in the overall rankings and continue to be one of the best franchises in all major sports when it comes to serving their fans.
The Magic ranked as the 16th best franchise overall and fourth best in the NBA when it comes to measuring how much a franchise gives back to fans in exchange for the time and money that they invest. The rankings were devised based on factors such as bang for the buck, fan relations, ownership, affordability, stadium experience, players, coaching and being on track to win a championship.
The Magic continued to earn high marks in several key categories – bang for the buck (fifth among NBA teams), fan relations (sixth among NBA teams), affordability (seventh among NBA teams), stadium experience (first among NBA teams), ownership (seventh among NBA teams), players (12th in the NBA), coaching (ninth in the NBA) and being on a title track (ninth in the NBA).
The Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers won the overall award – one in which the Magic were ranked second a year ago. The San Antonio Spurs were the highest ranked NBA team in the overall standings, ranking fifth this year.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN 1080′s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com) and is the co-host of the ESPN1080.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).