There is a powerful love affair happening in Baltimore, and it’s one you might not expect… unless you love football. Baltimore Ravens fans are ravenous, eagerely awaiting the home opener of the season in Baltimore, while dreading the last game that will end the season.
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Understanding the Baltimore Ravens
To understand this love, you need to understand Baltimore’s history with football teams.
Baltimore was a city that went without a team for 12 years, when the Colts moved to Indianapolis. As the Ravens emerged in 1996, the team was embraced in a very powerful way.
A Ravens game is about restoration, validation and the pride of a city. Every day that the Ravens play a game feels like a holiday. Even through the bad days, the Ravens fans are there, taking every punch and win together with the team.
Attending your first Ravens Game
As a rabid football fan, I’ve been to numerous games, watched games at home and. with friends on the TV. However, not everyone is so lucky. Some people have never watched a game, let alone gone to a live game at M&T Bank Stadium.
There are a few things you need to know before you attend that first game.
You don’t need to know the head coach by name, who the Ravens wide receiver is or who is a free agent right now. You might want to know what a field goal is though.
History of the Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens club was established by Art Modell in 1996 after he decided to relocate his earlier franchise, the Cleveland Browns, to Baltimore City. Part of the deal of the departure was that Cleveland got to keep the Browns’ name and colors for a future replacement team, which would be established again in 1999.
Technically, the Baltimore Ravens was an expansion team. After they snagged linebacker Ray Lewis as a first round draft pick, the Ravens began to soar, building one of the top defenses in the league.
As the Baltimore Ravens played their first game, it heralded in a new era in sports for Baltimore.
Today, the Ravens play at M&T Bank Stadium, while the head club office is located in Owings Mills, Maryland, playing in the NFL as part of the AFC North division.
Major Ravens Football Wins
The Baltimore Ravens club has been a very successful franchise since its establishment, with impressive wins across the board, including:
- 13 qualifications for the NFL playoffs since 2000
- 2 Super Bowl championship titles
- Super Bowl XXXV (2001)
- Super Bowl XLVII (2013)
- 2 Championship titles in the AFC (2000 and 2012).
- 4 Championship game appearances in the AFC (2000, 2008, 2011 and 2012).
- 6 North division titles in the AFC (2003, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2018, and 2019).
- 16 AFC playoff victories.
How to buy tickets to a Baltimore Ravens Game
Ravens game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com.
If you want to buy tickets in person, the Ravens ticket office opens every day from 9am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. During these days, guests to the ticket office should park in Lot D and enter through the Lobby in SW Suite.
When there is a home game on Sunday or Monday, the Russell Street box office window is usually open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday. The box office is also open on game day for 2.5 hours before kickoff.
Where to buy cheap tickets to a game
Tickets to a Baltimore Ravens game can be found at lower prices on the secondary market. I’ve seen tickets on SeatGeek for $88, and on StubHub for as little as $17.
How to get to M&T Bank Stadium
It’s pretty easy to get to M&T Bank Stadium, especially if you are driving. Unless you live in the Inner Harbor, walking to the stadium might take more time than it is worth. You can also take a rideshare or taxi, which will save you on parking.
Driving to M&T Bank Stadium
Driving to Baltimore from the South
- I-95 N towards Baltimore.
- Take Exit 52 of Russell Street
- M&T Bank Stadium is on the right side when you get to the base of the ramp veer.
Or, I-295 N towards Baltimore. The Stadium will be on the right side because I-295 will be Russell Street.
Driving to Baltimore from the Northwest
- I-83 S Baltimore to Lombard St. – make a right turn.
- Then turn south (left) onto Greene Street
- The Stadium will be on the left.
Driving to Baltimore from the Northeast
- I-95 S through the Ft. McHenry Tunnel
- Take Exit 53 (I-395) N to Russell Street, which is on the right lane.
- Then follow the lighted signs, which are on the first exit ramp.
- At the base of the ramp, turn left onto Lee Street
- Make a left onto Russell Street
- The Stadium will be on the left side.
Public Transportation to M&T Bank Stadium
Metro Subway Link
Take Metro Subway Link, which will take you to the West Entrance (Charles Center Station) of M&T Bank Stadium. You will then make a short walk to the Stadium.
Light Rail Link
Board Light Rail Link at Hamburg Street and it will take you directly to the Stadium
Several convenient buses can take you to the Stadium. City Link: Brown, Navy, Silver, Yellow, Purple. Or Local Link: 26, 51, 54, 63, 69, 70, 73, 75, 76, 94.
M&T Bank Stadium Parking Tips
During events, parking permits are sold in advance to fans. If you forget to grab your parking permit before the game, have no fear. You can still grab a spot via Spothero or Parking Panda and one of the many Inner Harbor parking lots that are just a short walk from the stadium.
M&T Bank Stadium does offer disabled parking permits. However, disabled parking permits are only available for qualified fans who arrive early enough to secure spots in parking Lots B, C and R.
These parking permits are not issued in advance, and those claiming them must have a disabled placard issued by the state or a license plate. Also, the registered person has to be in the car.
Things to know about M&T Bank Stadium Seating
The stadium recommends different sections for different groups, so everyone feels comfortable and has the best experience as a Baltimore Ravens fan.
Seats Recommended for Kids and Family
- Rows 1-10 in Sections 521, 522, 531 and 532
In case you didn’t guess by the number, these are the cheaper seats in the upper level. Seats are far from the sports bar and rowdy fans. Have no fear parents, you can still grab a cold beer for the game. Just pop down the steps or wait for a vendor to pop by.
Seats Recommended to Impress a Guest
- Sections 200, 226, 227 and 253
You really can’t beat the view from the 50-yard line. Not only will you get exclusive access to the club level lounges, but premium dining options and wider seats than your average fan.
M&T Bank Stadium contains five levels; Club level, the upper bowl, the lower bowl, 400 suites level and 300 suites level.
The lower bowl level has seats on two sections containing 42 rows. Below the tunnel, seats are labeled 1-18, while above the tunnel, seats are labeled 19-42. However, the sideline space is taken up by the press box, therefore, excluding sections 123-130, which contains rows 19-35.
The upper bowl has seats labeled 1-32 on the sideline and 1-26 on the end zones.
The club level’s sidelines have rows labeled 1-13 and 1-17 in the corners.
Since the Stadium has a curve design, the seat widths range from 19-21 inches for the upper and lower bowls. For padded club seats, widths vary from 21-23 inches.
Baltimore Ravens Food not to miss
At M&T Bank Stadium, foods options are in abundance. Great burgers can be found at Shake Shack or The Abbey Burger Bistro. If you are craving BBQ, head over to Boog’s Barbeque.
And you can’t go to Baltimore and not try the best crab cake in the stadium at Ryleigh’s Oyster or the crab pretzels sold at Frank and Nic’s West End Grille.
Understanding a Baltimore Ravens Game
If you want to feel like a local at a Ravens game, you need to learn the Ravens cheer. It’s a staple of the home fan’s experience.
Basically, it is comprised of Larry “Wes” Henson (Captain Dee-Fense), the chant designated as the “Seven Nation Army,” and Roaring “O!” during the national anthem.
Who is Larrey Henson?
Larry Henson is a Ravens fan to the extreme. He’s had season tickets, going to every home game since 1996. His trademark? Dressing up for every game.
Henson has taken on the persona of Captain Dee-Fense, with costumes getting more and more elaborate every year. If it’s your first game, make sure you keep an eye out for the Captain; he’s sure to get a cameo on the jumbotron.
Who are Baltimore Ravens biggest rivals?
Baltimore Ravens biggest rivals are the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s pretty easy to understand why– a number of Baltimore Colts fans became fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers shortly after the Colts relocated to Indianapolis.
Things to know about Baltimore Ravens Fans
Baltimore Ravens are known to be one of the most loyal fans in the whole NFL. They keep tabs on everything and anything that happens in their team, from current coaches and plays to new gear being released.
- Real fans own their own Ravens apparel, jerseys and posters, watch the game live or in the stadium, and stalk their rival– the Pittsburg Steelers.
What to wear to a Baltimore Ravens game
Some of the Baltimore Ravens fans dress like Captain Dee-Fense from head-to-toe. Lately, that means a Raven’s jersey with the sleeves rolled up, camo pants and a captain’s hat.
Most of the fans wear simply wear a Ravens hoodie, t-shirt, fleece, hat, camouflage pants, face paint or the Ravens jersey.
Baltimore Ravens Gear to Grab
- Football Jersey (+ youth sizes)
- T-shirts (+ youth sizes)
- Baseball cap
- Hoodie (or this purple one)
- Face gator
- Face mask
You will see all sorts of combos of gear, but the most important thing to remember is that the Baltimore Raven colors are black, purple, gold and white. Do not show up in a rival teams colors.
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