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M&T Bank Stadium
"The Bank", "The Nest"
Former namesRavens Stadium at Camden Yards (1998–1999)
PSINet Stadium (1999–2002)
Ravens Stadium (2002–2003)
M&T Bank Stadium (2003–present)
Location1101 Russell Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
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Broke groundJuly 23, 1996[1]
OpenedSeptember 6, 1998
OwnerMaryland Stadium Authority
OperatorBaltimore Ravens
SurfaceGrass (1998–2002)
Sportexe Momentum Turf (2003–2009)
Sportexe Momentum 51 (2010-Present)
Construction cost$220 million
($296 million in 2019 dollars[2])
ArchitectHOK Sport (now Populous)
Structural engineerBliss and Nyitray, Inc.
Services engineerRMF Engineering, Inc.[3]
General ContractorThe Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Capacity71,008 (2007-present)
68,400 (1998)[4]
69,084 (1999-2004)[5]
70,107 (2005-2006)[6]
Tenants
Baltimore Ravens (NFL) (1998–present)
Baltimore Bayhawks (MLL) (2002)
Crab Bowl Classic (2005, 2010)
Face-Off Classic (2007–present)
Day of Rivals (2009–present)

M&T Bank Stadium is a multi-purpose football stadium located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is the home of the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. The stadium is immediately adjacent to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the home of the Baltimore Orioles. Served by the Hamburg Street station of the Baltimore Light Rail, the stadium originally featured a natural grass surface. However, an artificial surface, Sportexe Momentum Turf, was installed for the 2003 season, which in turn was replaced by a new generation Sportexe Momentum 51 in 2010.[7]

The listed capacity for M&T Bank Stadium is 71,008. The stadium contains five levels, being the lower bowl, club level, 300 suites level, 400 suites level and the upper bowl. The lower bowl contains 42 rows of seats, split into two sections. The seats below the tunnel entrances are labeled from 1-18, while the seats above the tunnels are labeled from 19-42, except in sections 123-130, which contain rows 19-35, due to the press box taking up sideline space. On the club level, the rows are labeled from 1-13 on the sidelines, and 1-17 in the corners where no suites are located. In the upper bowl, the sideline seats are labeled from 1-32, while in the upper bowl endzones, the rows range from 1-26. Seat widths for the lower and upper bowls of the stadium vary from 19-21 inches, due to the curve design of the stadium, while the padded club seats range from 21-23 inches respectively.

HistoryEdit

Prior to the 1998 season, the Baltimore Ravens played at Memorial Stadium for two years. However, due to the stadium's aging state, it wasn't suitable for an NFL franchise, and ground was broken for the new stadium in mid-1996. It is sometimes called the Russell Street Coliseum (since the stadium sits directly on Russell Street) or 'The Bank'. M&T Bank Stadium officially opened in 1998, and is currently one of the most praised stadiums in the NFL for fan amenities, ease of access, concessions and other facilities. The stadium was originally known as Ravens Stadium at Camden Yards, until ISP PSINet acquired the naming rights in 1999, naming it PSINet Stadium. It then reverted back to Ravens Stadium in 2002 when PSINet filed for bankruptcy. The stadium site was previously the site of the Wm. Knabe & Co. piano factory, which closed during The Great Depression. A sidewalk keyboard mosaic on the southwest corner of the stadium honors that legacy.

In 2003, M&T Bank acquired naming rights to the stadium. The bank had recently entered the Baltimore market with its purchase of Allfirst Bank. Two other companies were in the running to be granted naming rights to the stadium; they were reportedly Nextel and CarMax. Following the September 2002 death of Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas, public sentiment leaned toward renaming the then-sponsorless stadium after the Baltimore icon. However, the Ravens and the Maryland Stadium Authority held firm in their right to negotiate naming rights fees. Unitas was honored instead by Towson University, which named its recently renovated football and lacrosse stadium, where Unitas had thrown his last pass just weeks before his death, after the former Colt. In the end, the plaza in front of the main entrance to the Ravens' stadium was named "Unitas Plaza", complete with a bronze statue of the Hall of Famer. The plaza features large banners, each containing a picture of Unitas in his playing days, flanking the stadium entrance.

The stadium's name may change again due to M&T Bank being in merger discussions with other banks, including Grupo Santander (which owns Sovereign Bank), Wells Fargo, and PNC Financial Services.[8] A possible takeover of M&T by PNC would be ironic, considering it is based in Pittsburgh, the home of the Ravens archrivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and is already a major sponsor for both the Steelers and the Cleveland Browns within the AFC North. (PNC became a sponsor of the Browns after PNC's 2008 acquisition of Cleveland-based National City, which had a sponsorship deal with the Browns before the deal.) The stadium's name would remain unchanged if M&T Bank merged with Sovereign Bank, as the M&T name would survive.

TenantsEdit

While its primary tenant is the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League, the stadium also serves as an alternate venue for the Johns Hopkins University's men's lacrosse team, and was the site of the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, and 2011. Major League Lacrosse's Baltimore Bayhawks used the stadium as their home during the 2002 season. The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) holds the four state football championships for Maryland's public high schools at M&T Bank Stadium.

Two very important Baltimore high school football rivalry games have been held at the stadium in November. Baltimore City College plays Baltimore Polytechnic Institute every November, in one of the oldest high school football rivalries in the United States. Every Thanksgiving, Loyola Blakefield and Calvert Hall College also square off in what has now been called for many years as the Turkey Bowl. Fans for both games reach up to 13,000 people.

Both games were once played back-to-back on Thanksgiving Day at Memorial Stadium. However, when City College and Polytechnic joined the MPSSAA before 1994 season, the game was forced to be played in early November, due to MPSSAA rules and playoff schedule.

Other notable eventsEdit

Popular music festival HFStival appeared at the stadium in 1999 & 2005, as Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Offspring, Blink-182, Goo Goo Dolls, Billy Idol, and Coldplay have all played the concert.

On July 4, 2000, Metallica played to a sold out crowd.

In 2005, the stadium was the site of the first rematch in the Maryland-Navy series known as the "Crab Bowl Classic" in 40 years.[9] The two teams played again at M&T Bank Stadium on September 6, 2010 and Maryland won 17-14 .[10]

On October 28, 2006, the stadium held a contest between Notre Dame and Navy in which Notre Dame won 38-14 and in 2007 the stadium held the Army–Navy Game for the second time.

On December 7, 2008, an M&T Bank Stadium then record crowd of 71,438 watched the Baltimore Ravens defeat the Washington Redskins 24-10 on Sunday Night Football, only to be surpassed the next week when the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Ravens 13-9 in front of 71,502.[11]

On July 24, 2009, English Premier League club Chelsea F.C. won 2-1 against Italian Serie A team A.C. Milan in the first World Football Challenge at M&T Bank Stadium in front of a crowd of 71,203; making it the only game of the tournament to sell out its capacity.[12]

U2 played at the stadium on June 22, 2011 on their U2 360° Tour to a record breaking crowd of over 75,000.

Monster Jam was held at the stadium for the first time in 2011, and the stadium has already been announced to become a normal stop on the summer tour.

On January 15, 2012, a record crowd of 71,547, the largest in Ravens history[13], was in attendance at the 2011 Divisional Playoff Game in Baltimore against the Houston Texans, which the Ravens won 20-13.

In 2013 the annual rivalry between Maryland and West Virginia will be held at the stadium.[14]

In 2014 the stadium will play host to Ohio State-Navy

In 2014 and 2016 it will host the annual Army-Navy game

Popular cultureEdit

The stadium served as the home field for the fictional Washington Sentinels in the 2000 film The Replacements with Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman (ironically, it was called Nextel Stadium). The stadium was also supposed to be the location[citation needed] of the football game in the 2002 film The Sum of All Fears and included footage of the presidential motorcade going to the building. However, the stadium used for the aerial shots is the domed Olympic Stadium in Montreal,[citation needed] while the book used Denver as the locale for the attack.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Ghosts at a Groundbreaking?; Ravens Stadium: A Dozen Years of Betrayal, Anger and Frustration Exorcised With a Shovel". The Baltimore Sun. July 24, 1996. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1996-07-24/news/1996206115_1_ravens-memorial-stadium-football. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  2. Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2008. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
  3. M&T Bank - Baltimore Ravens Stadium - RMF Engineering
  4. "Quarterback Injuries Rule the Day". Los Angeles Times. September 7, 1998. http://articles.latimes.com/1998/sep/07/sports/sp-20424.
  5. "Vikings Notes". Star Tribune. October 24, 2000. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=MN&p_theme=mn&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EFCD0A98D2BB332&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePMM.
  6. http://bal.scout.com/a.z?s=118&p=2&c=412946&ssf=1&RequestedURL=http%3a%2f%2fbal.scout.com%2f2%2f412946.html
  7. Hensley, Jamison (6 May 2010). "Ravens replace artificial turf at M&T Bank Stadium". The Baltimore Sun. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2010-05-06/sports/bs-sp-ravens-turf-stadium-0506-20100504_1_turf-fields-lardarius-webb-ravens. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  8. http://www.thestreet.mobi/story/10877792/1/pnc-others-may-eye-mt-bank.html
  9. Mike Burke, "Navy feels snubbed by Terps; what else is new?", Cumberland Times-News, 8 August 2007, accessed 17 January 2008.
  10. Wikipedia, 2010 Maryland Terrapins football team, "2010 Maryland Terrapins football team",
  11. [1]
  12. http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/bal-sp.soccerweb25jul25,0,7709171.story
  13. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/16/sports/football/still-unbeatable-at-home-ravens-outlast-texans.html
  14. http://www.wvmetronews.com/wvu.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=46231

External linksEdit

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Events and tenants
Preceded by
Memorial Stadium
Home of the
Baltimore Ravens

1998 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
Rutgers Stadium
Home of the
NCAA Lacrosse Final Four

2003 – 2004
Succeeded by
Lincoln Financial Field
Preceded by
Lincoln Financial Field
Home of the
NCAA Lacrosse Final Four

2007
Succeeded by
Gillette Stadium
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