NFL

Ravens forced to open season on road

Image: M&T Bank stadium (© G. Fiume/Getty Images)
This photo, taken from Oriole Park, shows how close the two stadiums are from one another.
Share This Story

   
 

NEED SOME? GET SOME

Feed your NFL addiction! Come feast on all the news in our updating blog.

Consider this a rare example of the NFL not getting its way.

Instead of celebrating their Super Bowl title with a game at their home stadium, the Baltimore Ravens will start the 2013 regular season on the road, because Major League Baseball and the Baltimore Orioles wouldn't budge.

The NFL likes to have its reigning champion open a season at home and wanted to have the Ravens play in Baltimore at night on Thursday, Sept. 5. But with the Orioles already set to host the Chicago White Sox next door at 7:05 p.m. on that date, and the leagues and teams unable to reach a compromise, the NFL announced Friday the Ravens will have to play somewhere else.

The Ravens and Orioles play at adjacent stadiums and share a parking lot, so they avoid playing at the same time because of traffic problems.

''While we are disappointed for the fans in Baltimore,'' NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an emailed statement, ''we appreciate the efforts of the Ravens, Orioles, and Major League Baseball and fully understand the logistical problems in trying to schedule the teams on the same day. The Ravens will open the season on the road.''

HAIL TO THE CHAMPS

Baltimore shows up to honor the Super Bowl champs and we have the best images.

He added that the league would like to set up some sort of Super Bowl celebration in Baltimore that night, perhaps including a pregame concert, even if the Ravens aren't there.

The Ravens' Week 1 opponent hasn't been announced yet.

''The Ravens and Orioles explored options, but ultimately decided the two games could not be played in Baltimore on the same day,'' the NFL club posted on its Twitter feed.

Major League Baseball declined to comment, referring reporters to a statement issued by the Orioles, who said they had been working ''over the past several weeks'' to try to accommodate the Ravens.

''Given the limited options available to reschedule the game at that late date in the season, the parties jointly determined that even an earlier start time would still create such enormous logistical difficulties that it would greatly diminish the fan experience for both events, which all parties realized would not be in the interest of their fans or the city,'' the Orioles said.

Complicating matters were the rules in baseball's collective bargaining agreement that govern rescheduling games - and the fact that both the Orioles (at the Cleveland Indians) and the White Sox (at the New York Yankees) have night games in other cities on Sept. 4, making a day game on Sept. 5 problematic.

The NFL began opening its regular season on a Thursday in 2002. Last season, though, the league chose to play a game on a Wednesday for the first time in more than 60 years, kicking things off on that day instead of Thursday to avoid conflicting with President Barack Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention.

The NFL decided a Wednesday start wasn't an option this time because the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah falls on Sept. 4.

Tagged: Ravens

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NFL Videos

Best Person in Sports: Keenan Lewis Posted: Jul 15, 2014
Saints CB Keenan Lewis hosts a back-to-school event, giving children medical ser...

NFL Roundtable: New York Jets Posted: Jul 14, 2014
They're a team with plenty to prove and a roster of players primed to get it don...

NFL Roundtable: Detroit Lions Posted: Jul 11, 2014
A team with so many weapons, is this the season that the Lions put together and ...

More Than Sports on MSN