SBD/23/Franchises

DOES BALTIMORE HAVE A PLACE IN ITS HEART FOR ITS NEW BIRDS?

          As the Ravens play their second season in Baltimore,
     its "flock is neither as large or as zealous as many NFL
     watchers had expected and Ravens officials had hoped,"
     according to Ken Denlinger of the WASHINGTON POST.  He adds
     that MD fans are "reluctant to totally embrace the Ravens"
     for "three reasons," one of which is "guilt" over the way
     the team came to Baltimore.  Another "is that the Ravens
     aren't the Colts," but "probably the major blame" is team's
     performance.  One "prominent" team exec said, "At some
     point, product matters."  The team has recently launched a
     campaign to sell the remaining 12,000 PSLs with the theme,
     "The Best Is Yet to Come."  But MD Stadium Authority Chair
     John Moag said the "only objective measure of fan interest
     is ticket sales" and that's been "extremely positive" for
     the Ravens.  Moag notes the team has sold 87 of 100 luxury
     boxes and all 7,900 club seats for its new stadium, set to
     open next season (WASHINGTON POST, 10/23).  

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