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Buffalo's sports teams rank in middle, says ESPN

Buffalo fans believe they're the best. The teams they cheer for fall in the middle of the pack, according to ESPN.

For the 14th year, ESPN has ranked the professional teams in all four major leagues: the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB. The Sabres rank 60th among the 122 teams, while the Bills are No. 76. The Sabres are 16th among the 30 NHL clubs, while the Bills are 19th among the 32 NFL teams.

The Sabres moved up two spots from last year's overall ranking. Improved performance on the ice, solid ownership and reasonable prices bumped the Sabres' standing. The Sabres took a big hit in fan relations, dropping 36 spots to No. 90, with ESPN citing The Buffalo News' interviews with season-ticket holders.

The Bills, meanwhile, tumbled from No. 49 overall to 76th. The team fell in nearly every category, including title track and stadium experience. Affordability is the Bills' bright spot.

ESPN used a four-step process to rank the teams and used two consulting firms, a marketing center and input from 70,000 fans. The Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL ranked first overall.

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