940-ottawa-senators

The Ottawa Senators have risen 73 spots in ESPN the Magazine's Ultimate Rankings since 2011, the highest-rising team in that span.

Ottawa Senators fans are the best-rewarded of any team in Canada included in the American sports media company ESPN’s annual rankings.

ESPN the Magazine Ultimate Rankings placed the Senators higher than any Canadian team in the NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL, it was announced on Monday.

A total of 122 teams were ranked according to how they reward fans for the money, time and emotion invested, weighing out eight categories including stadium experience, ownership, affordability and “bang for the buck.”

940-sens-storify-8col

Prime Minister Stephen Harper celebrates a goal by the Ottawa Senators during a playoff series in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

The Senators placed ninth overall, behind the Pittsburgh Penguins at seven and the Anahiem Ducks at eight.

The CFL was not included.

Highest-rising franchise in last 2 years

Ottawa ranked in at 42 in 2012 and 82 in 2011, making their 73-spot climb the biggest in that two-year time span.

“This year’s ESPN ranking is a testament to the ongoing commitment of our entire organization to continually focus on providing the best possible experience for our great fans,” said Senators owner Eugene Melnyk in a news release.

“We are thrilled and extremely proud to be recognized as Canada’s top professional sports team and to achieve an overall top-ten ranking in all of professional sports.”

The best category for The Senators was "bang for your buck" where they ranked seventh for "how efficiently teams convert revenues from fans into performance on the field."

Their worst was "stadium experience", placing 55th.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were ranked at 119, the worst team in both Canada and the NHL.