M&T Bank Stadium
vs. Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens Stadium
October 10, 2010
17 - 31 Win
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Capacity: 70,107 seats
Playing Surface: Sportexe
Hot Dog: $4.00
Stadium Parking: $40.00
M & T Bank
1101 Russell Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 261-RAVE (7283)
Stadium Review - My Return for a True Baltimore Tailgating Experience
Baltimore, Maryland, like most of the east coast, is a city that runs deep with historic landmarks and monuments chronicling our young country’s formation. Our National Anthem , “The Star Spangled Banner”, was written by Francis Scott Key as he watched the British bombardment of Fort McHenry located a stone’s throw from the downtown area. Baltimore is also the birthplace of the great American poet Edgar Allen Poe, whose morbid works continue to fascinate generations of fans. His poem, “The Raven” which was first published in 1845, served as the inspiration for the local professional football franchise when the NFL returned in 1996.
Apart form the historical significance of the area, Baltimore is also a great football town. One that unfairly lost its team in 1983 when Baltimore Colts owner, Robert Irsay, secretly packed up the team in the middle of the night, leaving a city of resentment in his wake. This resilient fanbase however, persevered and their patience was rewarded when NFL owner Art Modell decided to move his Cleveland Browns franchise to Baltimore to become the Baltimore Ravens.
Baltimore Ravens fans are exceptional tailgaters. In Lot H especially and throughout the area that surrounds M&T Bank Stadium, you’ll find Ravens fans putting meat to flame flanked by impressive tailgate cruisers that are customized with Baltimore Ravens themed paint jobs. Walking through the lot, you’ll also find that seafood is the order of the day as Ravens fans bring in fresh Cheasapeake Bay crabs and crab cakes, as well as a host of soups and stews to round out some of the most impressive tailgating menus you’ll find in the National Football League. Believe me when I tell you that these folks know how to eat.
I began my parking lot tour by stopping in on Mista T’s Tailgate, located in a private lot, nestled behind one of the buildings adjacent to Lot H. Mista T serves as one of the moderators for the premiere Ravens Fan Forum on the web, Ravens24x7. He also has one of the friendliest crews of tailgaters you’ll find on gameday. These folks are extremely knowledgable football fans and they never let your beer mug go empty. They also drink Yingling, which is a major plus as far as I’m concerned.
Later on in the afternoon we proceeded to 21040 Team Bus Tailgating to meet up with a couple of Baltimore Ravens SuperFans, Rick Bowles and Brian Donley. Rick goes by the name “Poetic Justice” and Brian is “The Deeciple”. Both are very actively involved in local area charities and in addition, these guys provide one of the more impressive spreads that I’ve seen in the NFL. Rifling through the buffet line, guests were treated to fresh clams, Old Bay scallops, homemade Maryland crab cakes, shrimp scampi, local sausage and some exceptional cheesy potatoes and sides (including some phenomenal stuffed mushroom caps). But what impressed me most was when I lifted the lid of one of the buffet platters to find ribeye steak and filet mignon. The “Cheasapeake Seafood Spread”, Rick and Brian’s personal surf n’ turf buffet, was everything it was billed to be and we truly felt that the regal purple carpet had been rolled out for our arrival. We spent some time on their fully upfitted custom team bus full of Baltimore football memorabilia and enjoyed a little gameday conversation over some select ice cold beverages of choice and soon we on our way toward the stadium. Special thanks goes out to Chip "Fired Up" Riley and the Purple Dame for introducing us around as well. Chip, I gotta hang out with the "Bus Boys" next time I'm in town.
As a side note, although visitors to the Baltimore area should make it a point to sample the fresh crab cakes that can be found in most local restaurants, to truly enjoy the local Maryland crab experience, steamed crab is the way to go. I have to admit that I’m not much of a crab-eating pro, but after a brief tutorial at Obrycki’s Crab House and Seafood Restatuant, I now know what to eat and what to leave behind. Surprisingly enough it’s a lot more complicated that just shelling the crab and digging into its juicy meat. You really have to separate out a plethora of undesirables, before you can get at the edible parts. Although in some cases it might be easier to buy a couple of crab cakes and let the pros pick out the edible bits, being the connoisseur of local delicacies that I aspire to be, I had to try my hand at blasting through the hard shell of these Maryland Blue crabs myself. Employing the traditional implements of area crab eaters (a wooden mallet and paring knife), I dug through its innards trying to locate the tasty meat inside. It was like trying to conduct major surgery with a treasure hunt thrown in for good measure. After a while you get the hang of it, but it’s still an awful lot of work.
Finishing up our tour through the lot, we decided to head into the stadium. The Denver Broncos were in town to take on the hometown Baltimore Ravens and I was ready to join this defensive minded fanbase in their vocal support of the home team. General manager Ozzie Newsome has done an incredible job crafting a perennial playoff contender in Baltimore. He’s managed to keep the defensive shelves stocked with talent while adding to what is evolving into a highly potent offensive attack led by youngsters Joe Flacco and Ray Rice. The matchup against the Broncos was hardly a contest. They were dominated on offense by the highly disruptive Ravens defense and Ray Rice ran all over the outmatched Broncos defense to post a dominant 31 – 17 victory. After the game we headed to Mother’s, a local bar in Federal Hill that hosts the unofficial Ravens post game tailgate, but not before I took one last photo emulating Baltimore Colt great Johnny Unitas. It was another incredible visit to Baltimore and I look forward to my return.
For more information on the city of Baltimore, MD check out my other review by clicking on the link below:
NFL: December 20, 2009 - Chicago Bears vs. Baltimore Ravens
NFL: February 21, 2007 - M&T Bank Stadium Tour
|City of Baltimore Local Information|
Top Tourist Attractions:
MD Science Center, National Aquarium, The Sports Museum, Camden Yards
January 19 - See the Poe Toaster (local legend)
Crab Cakes, Steamed Crab
Crab Soup, Cream of Crab Soup
What They're Drinkin':
National Bohemian (Natty Boh)
Lot H on the east side of the stadium across from the RR tracks
Local Sports Media:
The Baltimore Sun
Pocket Map of Baltimore
MTA Maryland Light Rail Map
Stadium Parking Map
Fan Forum: Ravens24x7, Extreme Ravens.com
Inner Harbor (Hard Rock Cafe, Dick's Last Resort, Houlihans)
Fells Point (Bertha's, The Horse You Came in On Saloon)
Federal Hill (Mother's Federal Hill Grille - unofficial post game spot)
Stadium Area (Pickles Pub, Sliders, Pratt Street Ale House)
Nick's Fish House (Crabcakes, Seafood)
Obrycki's Crab House & Seafood Restaurant (Steamed Crab)
Inner Harbor (M&S Grill, Phillips Seafood Restaurant, J.Paul's)
Fells Point (Kali's Court, Tapas Adela, Stuggy's)
Getting to the Stadium:
Although there's plenty of parking in and around M&T Bank Stadium, most of it is pre-paid parking. If you can't get your hands on a parking pass, plan to arrive 4-5 hours before kickoff to find parking in the cash lots within 3 to 5 blocks around the stadium. Another option might be to park in one of the parking garages in the Pratt and Lombard Streets corridor (safer bet for parking but no tailgating is allowed). If interested in a public tranport option, take the MTA Maryland Light Rail and get off at the Hamburg Street Exit.
Where to Stay:
Find a hotel near the stadium, in the heart of the action. I would suggest checking out the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards. It's located within walking distance of the stadium and is situated amidst plenty of drinking and dining option. It also has plenty of parking, so if you park there, you can just walk to the game and you won't have to worry about getting a parking pass.
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|Quest Machine in Baltimore, MD||Matt Tiegel on the Quest for 31||Great Baltimore Ravens RV|
|Tailgating in Baltimore||Emergency Response Tailgate Unit||Matt, Aimee, Chris, Dawn, Mista T, and Me|
|Matt, Kevin, Aimee, and Myself||Quest, Fired Up, Commish, Poetic Justice||Poetic Justice, Myself and the Purple Dame|
|H3 Tailgaters Brandon and Jeff||Tiki Tailgate at M&T Bank Stadium||Captain Offense and the Crew|
|Ravens Sideline with Aimee and Myself||M&T Bank Stadium Revisited||Aimee, Matt, and Myself|
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have
for my journey to M&T Bank Stadium, including the following:
- Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
- Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
- Tailgating Traditions
- Your Experiences or Helpful Hints
- If you saw me let me know!
All commentary will be moderated. Your e-mail address will not be published.
Sent: Mon, July 13, 2009
great stadium. Try M&S at
the Inner Harbor. I saw you there. I am a die-heardt Raven fan.
derek from Hyattsville, MD
Sent: Thu, June 18, 2009
|M&T Bank Stadium is a great place to see a football game and if you care about stadium atmosphere, you have to visit this place on gameday. The fans are loud and very passionate about their Baltimore Ravens. It is really a sight to behold. M&T Bank Stadium also has a very blue-collar fan base that knows how to create a raucous environment. This is why Baltimore has the 2nd best home record in the NFL since the 2000 season.|