10 Sports Franchises That Don’t Care About Their Fans
10 Franchises That Don't Care
Fans are the reason why sports exist. They are the most important cog in any franchise, in sports or in business. If there are no fans, then there is no money. If there is no money, the nobody wants to own the business. If all of these are the case (and it would be pretty hard to prove otherwise), then why does it seem like some owners just don't care about their fans?
Listen, nobody is asking all owners to act like Mark Cuban. They don't have to sit in the stands. They don't have to react as if they are closer to blue-collar fan than they are to billionaire owners. They can sit in their boxes during games and just put a watchable product on the field.
For most owners, sports is a hobby to them. They don't look at this to make money. They don't want to hemorrhage money of course, but they don't live off of what they make from the team. Then there are the owners who are in it for the money. They don't care about anything except the bottom line. If they have a player who is worth anything to the team, they will trade him for scraps.
There will be many who will say things like "the Pittsburgh Pirates did that and now look at them!" So you guys are willing to wait over two decades to see the owner's crazy moves work out? Also, they actually started spending money and have close to $80 million in payroll.
These 10 franchises shun their fans. Hopefully, they can get their head out of where the sun don't shine and build a brand. They need to realize that if you build a fanbase by spending money now, the money will come in other ways later.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also contributes to their MLB and NFL content. You can follow him on Twitter for all the latest updates on everything from every sport.
10. Calgary Flames
It is hard to put the Calgary Flames on this list. It seems like they are trying to rebuild their team, but looking over the roster and how money was spent, it is a hard pill to swallow. The best player in franchise history, Jarome Iginla, was sent away to win a Stanley Cup with someone else (which he didn't). Their highest-paid player is Michael Cammaleri. He is in the last year of his contract, so he will probably get traded midseason. Dennis Wideman is the future of this franchise. Also, they did not address the fact that Miikka Kiprusoff was almost surely retiring. They left fans high and dry this season.
9. Houston Astros
Did you know that the Houston Astros broke a record for highest profit ever made for a franchise? Also, did you know that they lost 111 games this season? Long gone are the days of Craig Biggio, Lance Berkman and Jeff Bagwell. With them went the fans. They ranked 27th in attendance, but when your payroll is $22 million, you don't need many people to make it profitable.
8. Cleveland Browns
Although it isn't as prominent now that they won two games in a row, the Cleveland Browns are up there on the lists of teams who don't make very good decisions. If you asked two weeks ago after the team traded Trent Richardson for a measly draft pick, then everyone would agree. The new owner Jimmy Haslam seems like he is pushing all the right buttons. Well, except for the whole defrauding scandal. The future may be bright but for right now, it is still Cleveland.
7. Phoenix Suns
Remember when this team was sending out a two-time MVP? Steve Nash is now covered in purple and gold while the Phoenix Suns' best asset is their new jerseys. There will be a trend on this list -- instead of making the team better, many will just change the logo to sell more merchandise. It has already been seen on here with the Astros and it will continue to be seen. The Suns are currently 27th in payroll. Their best player is Marcin Gortat. On second thought, maybe Steve Kerr wasn't such a bad GM after all.
6. Oakland Athletics
Just because you make the playoffs, that doesn't make you exempt. It seems that Lew Wolff and John Fisher, the Oakland Athletics' owners, are continuing the trend of trying to win with no money. In the past 15 years, they saw players like Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, Dan Haren, Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, Brandon McCarthy, Miguel Tejada and many, many more leave the team strictly because of dollars. It is hard for this fan base to love certain players, which is the best part of being a fan. This ownership group needs to be better to its fans.
5. Toronto Raptors
Basketball in Canada is not the best of experiments. Going all the way back to Tracy McGrady leaving for Orlando in the early part of this century and breaking up that duo of him and Vince Carter, the ownership has made mistake after mistake. The team makes moves, but they seem to be moves that anger any fan. Why trade Jose Calderon for Rudy Gay? It seems like you don't gain much there. They seem to do something to always anger their stars. They don't win. It just isn't a good fit.
4. Miami Marlins
It's the Miami Marlins. It's Jeffrey Loria. This may be the worst franchise in sports. He put a competent team on the field just so he can get a publicly-funded stadium, and then blew the team up. Not much more to say on this team.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Things looked promising when Shahid Khan took over the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. He was willing to pull money from his pocket to make stadium upgrades. He wanted to meet fans. He was going to turn around football in Jacksonville. None of that seems to work when the on-the-field product is atrocious. The future could be hopeful, but for now, all you can do is enjoy the new jerseys.
2. Florida Panthers
The Florida Panthers were the Pirates of the NHL two seasons ago. One season later, they watched idly by as everyone cashed in on that, especially Brian Campbell. Their inclusion on this list has nothing to do with new owner Vincent Viola as he literally just purchased the team. Hopefully he can turn this team around, because those playoff games in 2012 were more than exciting.
1. Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets
It is well known that Michael Jordan is an ultra-competitive person. It is also known he isn't the best at evaluating talent (Kwame Brown, anyone?). Maybe calling them the Charlotte Hornets instead of the Bobcats will miraculously make Tyrus Thomas a $10 million talent. I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.