SBD/February 22, 2013/Facilities

Ravens Unveil $35M Stadium Upgrades; First Phase To Begin Within Two Weeks

M&T Bank Stadium's first phase should be ready for the team's preseason opener
The Ravens yesterday unveiled plans for $35M in renovations to M&T Bank Stadium, a two-phase project which "will begin in the next seven to 10 days," according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore SUN. The first phase, "focusing on the lower concourse and video boards," is scheduled to be completed before the team's preseason home opener in August. The second phase, "which will be on the upper concourse," should be done in time for the start of the '14 season. Upgrades include "four new LED boards," and two HD boards that will "greet those who enter ... from Gates A or D, showing live game broadcasts and Ravens’ highlights." The lower concourse will have "a completely new look with open-kitchen styled concession stands, expanded team retail stores, wood and steel columns and purple lighting." The upper concourse will "undergo a similar transformation one year later." Ravens President Dick Cass said that the organization "will assume most" of the project’s $35M cost. However, the Ravens have "asked the Maryland Stadium Authority to assume a 'small portion' of the cost, stemming from the installation of new directional signage throughout the stadium." Aramark, which runs concessions at the stadium, also will "contribute some money in exchange for the team extending the agreement with them for several years." The "first order of business will be the re-design of all 16 lower concourse concession stands." The new open concessions will "allow customers to watch their order as it is prepared, along with providing digital menu boards, more space, better equipment and refurbished condiment stands." The concourse renovation also will include "wrapping the current concrete support columns in brick and adding purple uplighting and enhanced signage" (Baltimore SUN, 2/22).

BIRDS' EYE VIEWS: In Baltimore, Ryan Sharrow noted the Ravens' new HD videoboards, "which have split-screen capabilities, will display a variety of content, ranging from in-game action, highlights, stats, welcome messaging and entertainment video." The new LED videoboards will be "placed on each side of the two giant RavensVision HD video boards in the stadium’s inner bowl." Additionally, "new LED ribbon boards will be installed to connect fully around the entire middle seating bowl." Meanwhile, all four retail stores inside the stadium will be remodeled, "slightly increasing the size of each and providing a wider variety of merchandise for fans" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/21).
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