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Volume 24 No. 158

Events and Attractions

An estimated 200,000-plus people from "across Maryland poured into the heart of" Baltimore yesterday for the Ravens' Super Bowl parade, "standing shoulder to shoulder before City Hall, lining both sides of Pratt Street and filling M&T Bank Stadium to capacity," according to a front-page piece by Jill Rosen of the Baltimore SUN. Delays "plagued the afternoon rush hour and stymied the light rail too, as demand overwhelmed the system and trains stopped altogether several times when fans broke through barricades and spilled onto the tracks." Traffic in the morning was "so bad even the team had trouble making it to the celebration." Before the parade "even started, it was all but impossible to find parking in lots surrounding M&T Bank Stadium" (Baltimore SUN, 2/6). In Baltimore, Kevin Cowherd writes it was "the biggest and loudest and most boisterous victory parade you've ever seen, a two-hour party through downtown Baltimore." Cowherd: "Trust me, this one was bigger than the Orioles parade in 1983 when they won the World Series" (Baltimore SUN, 2/6). Meanwhile, David Zurawik wrote Baltimore's four "affiliate or network-owned stations blew out about four hours of mid-day programming to go all-hands-on-deck-live in coverage." Having reporters "wear purple scarves or stand on corners and act like crowd cheerleaders, which is what I saw too much of from WMAR during the parade, isn't enough." Zurawik: "The other thing that annoyed me, and it has been building for weeks, involves veteran reporters acting like they are buddies with the players." WBAL-NBC had "much of the best coverage." From "great helicopter shots of the massive congestion downtown in advance of the parade, to some of the most enterprising and perfectly pitched big-event reporting I have ever seen" (, 2/5).

Newport, R.I., will be the "only U.S. stopover of sailing's around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race in 2015," according to David Klepper of the AP. Newport "vied with Baltimore to host the event," and Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad would not comment on reports in Baltimore media that organizers had "first picked that city over Newport but backed out because of scheduling conflicts with the Preakness Stakes." Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee said that the state expects to "budget $775,000 to cover expenses such as sanitation and public safety associated with the event" (AP, 2/5). Baltimore bidder Ocean Racing USA Exec Dir Robert Housman said of the switch in cities, "We were shocked. ... We won on the merits of our bid and that's a fact." In Baltimore, Candy Thomson notes Volvo officials on Jan. 22 "sent a letter to Housman and other members of the bidding team congratulating them on winning not only the 2014-15 edition of the race but also the race in 2017-18." Almost immediately after telling Baltimore it won, Volvo officials "pushed the possibility of moving the Preakness or of the city hosting both races simultaneously, which prompted a strongly worded four-page letter from Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Jan. 28." She noted in the letter, "We only heard of the Preakness weekend date within the last week." Rawlings-Blake "warned that Volvo would find itself overshadowed by the Preakness and would lose valuable media exposure and marketing opportunities." But city and bid officials on Feb. 1 said that they "received a call from race organizers, saying that they would award the race to Newport if Baltimore didn't budge." That afternoon, Newport officials "got a call congratulating them on winning the stopover" (Baltimore SUN, 2/6).